Shout Out To The Pink Tie Ball 2019 Committee

February 2, 2019 will be the fifth year of joining forces with some of the most amazing women in Southwest Michigan to coordinate and manage one of the area’s elegant galas: Pink Tie Ball. These women have become such dear friends to me and one of my center Tribes. Our friendships flourished following one of our darkest days: the unexpected passing of our beloved leader and mentor. Since that time we continue to rely on one another’s strength to gain support for cancer research and care in our community. They are ladies I know I can turn to for advice, hugs, and lots of laughter.

With our event happening in a month’s time, I wanted to give a little shout out to these beautiful women. We have been working diligently to make Pink Tie Ball 2019 the best yet, and I am in awe of every single member of this committee. They deserve so much praise for all their hard work. And 2019’s event is sure to be just as amazing as they are because they’ve put so much of themselves into planning it…

The Pink Tie Ball began in 2015 and has transitioned throughout the past years. Members have come and gone, venues have changed, and beneficiaries have shifted. However, one key factor remains the same: the spirit of the Committee. The Committee continues to be a group of remarkable women focused on supporting the fighters, celebrating the survivors, and honoring the taken of all cancer variants within the Southwest Michigan community. These women came together not only for a worthy cause, but also to continue the legacy of the person who brought them all together: Denise Bohn.

Denise Bohn was the Development Director for Susan G. Komen Southwest Michigan. Beginning in 2015, Denise led the original Pink Tie Ball Committee through two years of growth which blossomed into an amazing event focused on raising breast health awareness and to provide education, screening, and diagnostics in our community. In 2017, the Committee chose to continue the event and dedicated their talents to keeping the Ball local and continuing Denise’s mission. We miss Denise terribly, but the opportunity to honor her with this gala urges us forward to keep fighting for all those effected by cancer in Southwest Michigan.

With the advice and encouragement of Susan G. Komen Michigan, the Pink Tie Ball Committee decided to become its own entity in 2018. Though our mission remains the same, our support and outreach has expanded past raising awareness of breast cancer to raising awareness and support for all forms of this cruel disease. Cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide, and our community is no exception. For Pink Tie Ball 2019, it is our hope to support two amazing organizations, Susan G. Komen Michigan and Pennies From Heaven5, where funds raised will remain local.

It is the Pink Tie Ball Committee’s promise that 100% of funds raised at the 2019 Pink Tie Ball will go towards efforts to raise awareness of cancer and support cancer patients within Southwest Michigan. For Pink Tie Ball 2019, we are expanding our beneficiaries and plan to remain transparent with our friends and sponsors.

We have been working diligently with Susan G Komen of Michigan to ensure our PTB funds stay local in Southwest Michigan. In 2019, $5000 worth of funds raised will go towards creating 25 treatment bags including (but not limited to) the following: a jersey sweatshirt, a handmade blanket, a pillow, a stainless steel water bottle, a journal, adult coloring books, socks, a cookbook from an oncology dietitian, gas cards and a post-surgical fitted garment to wear home from the hospital after breast surgery. This treatment bag comes alongside screenings, diagnostics and education through Komen’s wide array of resources. Funds will also be used towards providing mammogram services for 25 patients located in Southwest Michigan.

$1000 of funds will be utilized for Pink Tie Ball event costs and expenses, as well as placed in preparation for 2020 Pink Tie Ball.

All remaining funds raised will be granted to our new partner, Pennies From Heaven5. Pennies From Heaven5 is a local non profit organization that offers financial assistance to young adults ages 21 to 30 for their living expenses and to provide comfort during their battles with cancer. Representatives from Pennies From Heaven5 have been working diligently with the Pink Tie Ball Committee to ensure this year’s event is the best Ball to date.

As with previous years, Pink Tie Ball will be an elegant evening full of food and drink, dancing, live entertainment, a silent auction and door prizes. Pat Moody will be Emcee for the night’s program, Jon Krugh of Center Line Music will have the dance floor poppin’, and Ben Pancoast will be returning with his always-popular Photo Booth. New to 2019, the evening entertainment will be a fashion show supporting those going through cancer treatments as well as celebrating those strong survivors among us. Studio I Boutique is the presenting sponsor for this “stylin’ against cancer” runway spectacular in this year’s program.

I am blessed to be a member of this 2019 Committee and have loved working beside so many others throughout the past five years. The Pink Tie Ball continues to grow in support and funds raised each year, and I am excited to see what we raise at this year’s gala. To my fellow Committee members, you are SO appreciated by so many and you are all such inspiration to me. Thank you for being my Tribe members, friends, and role models.

Much love,

Wine & Cake Decorating

The new house is basically all I think about nowadays, but I interrupt my regularly scheduled wall painting and box packing program to bring you a fun snippet of an event some girlfriends and I participated in last Thursday. We ventured over to one of the local wineries in Southwest Michigan (the Winery, actually) and practiced our skills at cake decorating under the instruction of a professional pastry chef.

Mandy from Love and Macarons studied L’Art de la Patisserie at the French Pastry School in Chicago, and upon graduation worked under Bravo’s Top Chef Just Desserts winner Chris Hanmer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Mandy is a native of Southwest Michigan, though, and her heart tore her back home. I had the pleasure of partnering with Mandy while she worked at a local restaurant along with her executive chef for one of my Wine Club dinners in the Fall of 2017, and I was so excited to see she was pairing with the Winery again. This time under her own (and new!) business. Love and Macarons was developed from Mandy’s deep love of macarons. She also designs custom cakes, cupcakes, breakfast pastries, and other candies for the residents of our little corner of the Mitten State. Her products are everywhere locally! I love seeing her custom pop-tarts at my local farmer’s market, and her macaron towers at various events around town. Her Instagram is also full of desserts that leave my mouth watering. Partnering with Dablon Vineyards, Mandy was advertising a cake decorating class hosted at Dablon’s Annex. Knowing so many ladies who not only love to be creative but also drink wine, I shared the event on Facebook and a week later we met up to take the class. Dablon Vineyards is dear to my heart for many reasons — not only because I once called it my place of employment. Dablon is a beautiful winery set on an even more awe-inspiring vineyard. And the wines are unmatched in Michigan. The grapes are hand-picked and the winemaker combines Old World methods with New World technology to make the superior wines. Their goal is to “marry European varietals with the unique terroir in Southwest Michigan to make extraordinary wine.” They are excelling. With 36 acres of estate-grown grapes planted on Dablon’s 75-acre vineyard, Dablon’s wines are made in-house and on-site, and contrary to popular belief, sweet fruit wines are not the only product coming out of Michigan. Dablon’s wines are modeled after Burgundy and Bordeaux with unique varietals such as Malbec, Carmenere, and Petit Verdot available. But don’t just take me at my word — even Wine Enthusiast rated Dablon’s 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon 90 points, a great feat for some little Michigan winery. With a tasting room featuring two tasting bars and a lounge area in front of a stone fireplace, Dablon welcomes guests to not only sample their award-winning wines but also escape from every-day life in rustic comfort. So I’ll say it again: Dablon is my favorite Michigan winery for many reasons. Given the opportunity to drink wine while being creative was like having my cake and eating it too. (See what I did there?) I arrived to the event early enough to have a glass of my favorite Dablon wine before starting the class. No matter the vintage, the Dablon Pinot Noir Rosé is my go-to. The current 2017 vintage is darker in color with hints of raspberries and nice acidity. Depending on what I’ve eaten throughout the day, sometimes there is even tart cranberry. I’ve enjoyed a few glasses of the Rosé over the summer. The class began with Mandy giving an overview of her pastry experience and background. Then we jumped straight into decorating. We began with a 4″ layered baby cake, a turntable, a tub of purple buttercream frosting, three smaller containers of varying pink frosting hues, a paint scraper, and an angled spatula. Mandy demonstrated how to apply the first layer of the purple frosting to cover the entire cake. Basically, you scoop a large amount to the top and distribute it to the sides. Easy, right? Not quite. Once all the frosting has been distributed, you then want to smooth the cake’s sides using the paint scraper. This will remove a majority of the frosting. You then repeat the first step (dolloping more frosting and distributing) followed by scraping off. The goal is to have the cake appear smooth on the sides and flat on top. It took me four turns of distributing, scraping, and repeating to have my cake appear relatively smooth. Then came texturizing. Using your angled spatula, Mandy instructed the class to choose one of the pink shades and begin dotting them onto the cake. She looked like a painter, dotting the reddish hue this way and that until she felt it was time to move to the brighter pink. Then she repeated her moves, and again with the white until her cake looked like Picasso had taken his brush to it. I’m no Picasso, friends. Instead, I chose to (what I kindly call) glop my colors on my cake. Strong, repetitive, upward strokes of thick frosting began to take shape. I had no rhyme or reason for my placement other than to make the cake look “like feathers.” I wanted texture. I wanted height. And above-all-else, I wanted a lot of frosting. I’m proud to say I succeeded in all those categories. I felt this stage in the decorating was the most fun. I could mix colors, hide mistakes, and make the cake take on the form I envisioned. Plus, I was able to enjoy my second glass of Dablon wine, this time choosing the newly released 2017 Dablon Pinot Grigio. A deliciously dry white, this Pinot Grigio offers mild acidity with light starfruit. It is one of G’s favorite options from the winery, and I’ve become accustomed to its lightness in the hot months, so it fit for the muggy Michigan September evening. The final step was what I would call accessorizing the cake. Mandy provided an array of options: vanilla and chocolate macarons, fresh flowers, sprinkles, edible glitter, and meringue. If you’ve never had meringue, you are truly missing out. It is pretty much a dehydrated marshmallow made of egg whites, salt, and sugar, and feels like you’re eating a sweet cloud. I used both varieties of macarons (because they are seriously the best!), a medium-sized meringue, and a handful of flower stems. I tried different layering techniques, and after the twentieth variation finally liked my design enough to call it good. Then I added some crushed meringue and gold sprinkles at the base of my cake, and sprinkled some gold glitter to really make the cake sparkle. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with my final product: I don’t foresee me quitting my day job to become a cake decorator, but this event was a lot of fun. I’ve done plenty of Wine and Canvas classes in the past. This cake decorating takes the cake. (Ha, I have so many more, guys!) With Wine and Canvas, you’re shown how to paint one image which you’ll never need to paint again. With the cake decorating class, I learned techniques to decorate cakes for my friends and family in the future which I’ll actually retain. I’ve never been a baker, but now I feel comfortable enough to at least frost a cake should the need arise. In addition to expanding my creative abilities, I was given the opportunity to get out of the house — literally — and express myself in a fun manner. And on top of all that, I took a tasty treat home for G and I to split! The cake was a chocolate velvet cake made with Cabernet Sauvignon. It had some spice to it, and the buttercream filling was delicious. It definitely made the hubby happy having dessert in the apartment for a few nights. I call that a win-win for everyone involved! There really was no better way to spend a Thursday evening than with a full glass of wine, lots of laughs, and inspiration to work with in the kitchen. I love living in a community that provides little classes like this one, and I love living in an area that makes such amazing wine. I’m looking forward to more cake decorating classes in the future, either at Dablon again or exploring a new location. Can I also add how cute it is that my girls and I dressed to match our cakes? I love fun coincidences like this! Now back to moving into the new house… Until next time, friends,

Real Wedding: Rachel + James

When I think of my childhood, there is one smiling face that shows up in more than half of my memories and that is the face of my friend Rachel. Our friendship has been nothing short of adventurous: from riding ATVs up north with no helmets and watching her cousin bite worms in half in order to “fish better” to staying up ungodly hours of the night to watch trash TV to cruising the Caribbean twice to witnessing drug busts in the nation’s capital to acting as one another’s wedding Plus One’s to surviving puberty, high school, and a number of break ups, we have done so much together!

Needless to say, when Rach texted me one January morning to tell me she was now engaged to her high school sweetheart, my heart was bursting! Not only because IT WAS ABOUT TIME, but also because our conversation turned to wedding plans and logistics. As an event coordinator at the Winery still, I started to cry when she took me up on my offer to host her intimate nuptials at my venue AND allow me to help coordinate the Big Day.


Rachel and Jimmy began dating our senior year of high school. Like most early relationships, they did wander from one another after graduation, but it didn’t take long for their hearts to call them  back together. What is meant to be will always find a way! They both have adventurous, wanderlust hearts (traveling the world is one of their shared passions) and have enough differences to balance one another in a strong partnership.

Jimmy proposed to Rachel on Christmas Day.  As his family watched, a beautiful solitaire gold ring was found by Rachel tied with a ribbon around the collar of their new puppy, Hopper. Jimmy fell to his knee and the rest is history…

Having discussed their wedding ideals prior to the engagement, both Jimmy and Rachel knew exactly the kind of celebration they wanted: an intimate affair surrounded with their closest loved ones. Both fearing the crowds of a large to-do, they opted to spend their expenses on a month-long honeymoon to explore the world together rather than a lavish party. Perhaps a reception sometime in the future, but for now they were seeking somewhere small, cozy, and preferably rustic.

Cue me!

When Rachel told me what sort of venue she was seeking and her budget, I knew exactly where (and who) should “run this show.” My Winery’s special event space boasted an adorable fireplace ideal for a ceremony’s backdrop, wood beams for a rustic feel, and all the wine imaginable. Plus the rental fee was exactly within the bride’s margins! Without much persuading, Rachel came, saw, and placed a deposit on the space for a date only two weeks in the future for her wedding. And so the preparations began…

The wedding would host both the groom’s and bride’s immediate family. This meant grandparents, parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews only. The group planned to go out for dinner following the ceremony, so only light hors d’voures were needed. As for decor, Rachel’s mom and I worked with the most simplistic of tools to bring a light, airy feel to the venue: tulle, organza, Mason jars, and baby’s breath were all it took.

With less than two weeks to prepare, Rachel’s savviness was impressive! She found her wedding dress (a gorgeous ivory lace gown) at a local bridal shoppe. The gown was a floor sample and just happened to fit this bride like a glove! Seriously! Look at this stunning bride!

Rachel dressed and prepped in my office upstairs as Jimmy took residence in the office across the hall. Skipping tradition, the two met before the ceremony to capture the “first look” and share a bottle of wine. When time, Jimmy took Rachel arm-in-arm and they entered the ceremony together down the staircase; the guests were silent as the beautiful couple cascaded down to say their vows.

The ceremony was officiated by the couple’s friend and tattoo artist. What felt like eternity for the couple was actually only about five minutes worth of stating vows, exchanging rings, and making the announcement of husband and wife.

Then it was time for the festivities! The couple toasted the beginning of their future with a bottle of 2016 Dablon Sparkling Chardonnay  and a beautiful naked cake created by an amazing pastry chef (and high school friend) to provide a sweet treat for guests and couple alike. The vanilla cake with raspberry filling paired well beside other bottles of wine being sampled by the family as all present celebrated the growth of their families.

The after-ceremony celebration involved a lot of mingling, hugging, and well-wishes for the newlyweds.

It was so amazing to witness this intimate affair and see the happiness in my friend’s life. There were many laughs throughout the afternoon as we all mingled and shared stories of the past and dreams of the future.

And though I loved every moment of the ceremony, one of the most memorable moments of the day for me was when the photographer, the newlyweds, and I ventured around the Winery for a photo shoot. Anji, the photographer, and her assistant Andrew were an awesome team to witness.

First we went to the Winery’s barrel room. Anji had me cut the overhead lights and highlighted the couple using a lighting rod. Then we took to the vineyards and patio. Thankfully there was limited snow for a Michigan January! The weather was actually misting, but temperatures were not below freezing. The gray sky assisted in accentuating the colors of the photographer’s subjects. After a bit of fun outdoors, we moved into the tasting room for the finale — and a little wine.

The process Anji went through to capture these images was incredible — that woman is ridiculously talented — and her final products speak for themselves:

For a dreary Michigan Sunday in January, the love and warmth of this ceremony melted all coldness from the world. Ending their celebration with a wine tasting, the couple quickly and easily packed up their belongings and headed to a great dinner with their families…

And off into the rest of their happily married lives together.

I am so thankful to have been able to be a part of this momentous day for my long-time friend. I am even more thankful she was so gracious in granting me permission to her wedding photographs and freedom to write a little piece on this intimate affair. I love ya, Rach!

Venue: Dablon Vineyards
Photographer: Anji Monique Photography
Cake: Mandy Krause of Love and Macarons
Event Coordinator: Ashley Wall

Women’s Day Retreat of IF:Gathering

It has been almost two months since I left the event industry and began a new career. And I have to say, I’m quite in love with my new arrangement. Not only have I found necessary time for myself and my loved ones, but I have found abundant free time for writing, reading, and experiencing life which means many scheduled posts in the upcoming months. God is good!

When I still have those urges for event planning, though, I am also in very good hands. On March 3rd I was lucky enough to assist in orchestrating an amazing women’s retreat called If:Gathering at my church for 300 ladies passionate for God, strengthening their faith, and performing discipleship. IF’s mission is to equip women with gospel-centered resources, events, and community so they may learn more about who God is and disciple other women. (You can find out more about the organization here.) Talk about an amazingly inspirational day, and some seriously deep thoughts coming from asking “What IF…”

IF began with a heavy discussion on the darkness of Life: doubt. (Literally this was the topic covered minutes into the first speaker’s speech, guys, so talk about a solid foundation for the day’s agenda.) Questions such as “How would you describe the season you’re living?” and “What makes you weak?” were asked. Imagery of sparking fires within ourselves to grow and flourish were mentioned. Each woman’s purpose in Life was explored. And a stirring occurred within me which made me reevaluate a few of the only negative things still hanging around in my life. It was quite the day, friends!

Let me back up a bit though and start from the beginning. The first speaker was a ridiculously motivational woman by the name of Jo Saxton. Jo, while leading IF into the discussion of doubt in our lives’ purposes, created the acronym WEAK. It was following her explanation of the things in our lives which make us WEAK that I began to think of the Worries, Expectations, unhealthy Appetites, and things that Knock me down in my own day-to-day living.

Disappointing those I love was top of my list, followed closely by not meeting the demanding expectations I place on myself and those which I perceive others to place on me. If anyone is their own worst critic, it’s me. Yet when I considered my “Season in Life” I had to raise a brow to how easily Life seems to be moving lately. Perhaps its the removal of harmful relationships, the addition and focus on uplifting friendships, a new outlook on my role in the community, or simply leading a life with an actual direction, but my life really hasn’t seemed much better up to this point.

Though with more internal focus, I had to admit that something still felt out of place in the fullness and positivity I seemed to have found in Life. But what?

I couldn’t play dumb for long.

As Jo continued, any sort of weakness in our lives allows for doubt to trap us and “stick us in the middle.”

I knew exactly what my weakness was — what was keeping me stuck in a place that had a hint of darkness still — and it quickly became apparent that I would be facing my own darkness head-on at IF…

All in all, the day’s first discussion brought a clear picture to mind that I cannot control my circumstances, but I can definitely control my attitude. However, I’m guilty of not always controlling my attitude in a God-pleasing manner. Sarcasm and disconnection have been my first calls to action in the past. Instead, I would like to become more understanding, more patient, and more expansive in all aspects of my life, especially in cases where a trial hits me with full-force. This is something I have been working on and intend to keep growing.

With those thoughts in mind, I traced back to the question, “How would I describe the season I’m living?”

Currently, I would say I’m in a Season of Transition. Life has been continuously changing around me over the past year: a new career, a new marital status, a changing friendship pool, new responsibilities, new community groups, new ideals for every day life. I’ve had to adapt to all these things and am preparing to adapt more in the very near future.

This concept hit me pretty hard at IF though. I anticipated the hit somewhat — I mean, some sort of revelation is supposed to happen at a retreat, right? — but I did not expect to get emotional and tear-up throughout the day. Mostly, I came to grips with the realization that I had lost one key thing within the past year which I never foresaw losing: the monumental relationship I had with my best friend, a girl I viewed as my own blood. That one-on-one girl time of true heart-to-heart talks, late-night wine dates full of ranting and venting, the inside jokes, the many hugs, the laughter, and the carefree silliness that was our relationship. I lost my sister, and I’ve never really come to terms with that loss or mourned her.

IF was the first place I finally let all the emotions felt from that loss out. I relived our parting, our final words to one another, and the aftermath of losing my closest girlfriend. And I openly admitted to myself — as well as to my mother — that I feared I would never find a friendship with another woman that strong again.

It was like a punch to the gut.

But as I was wallowing in that pain, God granted a true blessing to be heard: the next speaker began discussing the passage of Life. She spoke on God choosing the times and seasons of our lives, and the fact that He also gives us the gifts and talents to pass through each of those periods with grace and poise.

Over the past several months I have been holding such sadness and resentment towards my old friend. Yet in the end, that black void has kept me trapped. IF helped release me from my own thoughts and emotions. It allowed me a space to mourn my friendship. It allowed me to grieve.

And it also reminded me that events and other people are outside my control.

I had been telling myself that she made me feel upset, that she had hurt me, that she was to blame. When in actuality, it has been me all along. I allowed that one circumstance to control a part of me and I decided how I felt about that loss and decision to leave a friendship.

There was also the underlying feelings of disappointment and failure in myself. The fear that I can not manage a good friendship and truly make it last. That I had failed as a friend.

Yet just as these self-harming thoughts began to replace those of resentment, the speaker made a statement which brought my attention back into focus:

If something is causing you to sin — as in be angry, anxious, jealous, etc. — then it may be time to back away so you can be set free to run your own race which God has set for you.

There.

THERE!

Another reminder as to why I should be persisting forward without that darkness of grief, resentment, and pain in my life.

Right then and there I was so incredibly thankful I had been lead to IF. I have no doubt that IF was God’s way of tossing the truth in front of me and realigning my thoughts and feelings to Him and full happiness.

IF provided the epiphany that I had a weight dragging me down. That weight was my grief and resentment, and it was holding me back from moving forward towards ultimate success. That weight was stirring inside me, full of anger and depression and self-hatred — all emotions that are not God-driven. And I decided, as I hung my head for the final prayer, that I no longer wanted to carry that weight around with me.

With that resolution, I am moving forward.

I am moving towards my finish line, towards my ultimate success.

Now when I say “ultimate success,” I mean a life that is pleasing and in complete devotion to God. Ultimately, this results in complete happiness and an overall healthy — mentally, emotionally, spiritually — life as well. So what I am moving towards is the greatest goal I can conceivably imagine!

As IF ended, there was more imagery of starting a fire and spreading God’s good news. Though IF’s purpose was to stir passions of discipleship among the women in attendance, for me IF was a well-needed reminder as to the purpose of so much change in my life and a promise that God is working for my best. Perhaps that is my message to fan into flame right now; perhaps this little blog post will help someone else out there who is struggling to understand their current circumstance and needs a little reminder as to why things happen the way they do…

Perhaps, but who am I to say? I’m still struggling myself, friends, but at least now I’ve chosen to move forward and continue on the path God has directed me — it just took a little bit of guidance from some amazing women to get me back on track.

However, if you are someone in a challenging Season of Life and want more guidance, I highly recommend IF and its tools. IF even has a Vimeo channel which houses some inspiring footage. Check it out here!

Then, when you’re ready, I want to ask you to answer the following question as you choose to move forward with your own God-given purpose:

Capture

I still don’t have a concrete answer myself on how I plan to be a flamethrower, but I do feel I’m on the right route by attempting to lose my personal weights in order to run a little bit faster towards the finish. I’m thinking of my journey to find my purpose as my own little marathon training — minus the shin splints and unnecessary crying.

With all this being said, I do have something to say to my old friend: I am sorry.

I am so incredibly sorry for my part in our goodbye… I’m sorry for the way things ended and the hurt felt on both sides.

But more importantly thank you for who you were to me. Though the departing hurt immensely, I have more fond memories of our friendship than damaged ones and those positive moments are what I choose to hold onto from here on out. I miss you, my friend.

And ultimately, I wish you nothing but happiness, good health, and much (much, much, much) love in the future. Sig

Cheers to Transitions

I began my position at the Winery on April 3, 2017. I was given the title Wine Club Manager and Event Coordinator, and was placed in charge of over 750 members with the goal of developing events to not only attract new members but also keep current. It has been a crazy year full of both known and unknown territory. I’ve created amazing relationships with many of my members and now call them my friends. My teammates at the winery have been incredible as well, offering assistance where needed, advice when asked, and numerous laughs along the way. I could not be more thankful.

It was a hard decision, obviously, when the day came that I was approached on a new job offer. Not only would I be leaving an industry I have such a passion for, but also people who I care so much about.

Yet that day did come.

A few weeks ago an organization I interned with during my junior year in college came to me with a job offer which not only matched my current pay but also offered full benefits, a much shorter commute (3 minutes compared to 30), and a steady schedule. Plus the nonprofit’s mission to support and assist those of low economic standing to a place of self-sustainability is one of which I absolutely believe in and adore — thus why I interned with this organization those years past. So, thinking of my upcoming future with marriage and a family in addition to my heart for bettering my community, I couldn’t pass on this offer.

Which means today was my last day at the winery.

Not going to lie, it has been a hard week what with receiving beautiful notes from members and realizing I will be leaving the event industry as a career.

It seemed only right, then, to write a little thank you and farewell to this treasured step in my life:

I want to thank all those who have made my time at the winery so amazing — my teammates, my members, my partnering vendors, and all others I have corresponded with over the last nine months — and provide a little remembrance of all the events and fun times we shared:

It will be difficult leaving, but rest assured I will continue to coordinate and create charcuterie spreads as often as possible through volunteer work.

To a wonderful industry, to a year of transitions ahead, and to moving forward with so many fond memories — cheers, my friends!