Good morning!

I am sitting here sipping my coffee having pondered for a long while about how to start this blog for our wedding venue. I am going to stop overthinking and to just write from my heart which is the way that I have always lived my life. Since I was a child, I have always been driven to be in the present moment and if I find myself removed from it, I work hard to recenter myself so that I can truly be in the NOW. So here I sit, wondering what to write for our first Lavender on the Lake blog. I’m not going to spend time describing myself or describing Jason, because if you are here reading this, that tells me that likely you have discovered our website and you are interested in becoming a part of our Lavender on the Lake family. (We call our space LOTL for short.) What I am wanting to share is a little bit of the behind the scenes for where this dream started- from my perspective. Jason’s is obviously a different story that perhaps he will share once he is able to breathe a little easier. (He is currently at the fire station, and when he isn’t, he is literally hands-on – aka hanging drop ceiling- at LOTL, photographing weddings, working out at F45,  and being an insta dad.

I was married for 15 years, and I have three children with my ex husband. I have kept our story in a sacred space due to protecting our children and for allowing my journey to lead us all to the place where we are meant to be. I can wholeheartedly look back and tell you that through it all, I trusted that there was something more for me. I dug deep into honoring my path while still believing in the love that I knew I was worthy of. I walked away still trusting and wanting a marriage where I was chosen, cherished, honored, and loved in a genuine and healthy space. 

10 months after my divorce, I wrote a journal entry describing all of the things that I wanted in a partner- I will share this with you someday- because I feel strongly that oftentimes our wishes and hopes can become a reality when we  thoughtfully trust in them and authentically believe in the good. In this case, mine did. I met Jason on December 3rd, 2017. Well, technically, we met through an on-line dating App called Bumble several days prior, but our first official date was on the 3rd. We met at 5pm on a Sunday because I was a teacher, and to be honest,  I was skeptical that anything would come from it. My thinking was- “Let’s just meet and get this over with.” As soon as Jason walked into the restaurant and walked over to the bar area where I was sitting, I felt a calmness rush through me. It wasn’t an overwhelming sense of heart palpitations that I have read about in romance novels- it was just this wave of peace that allowed me to breathe and just BE. We talked easily the entire time as the workers reluctantly checked in to serve us another drink or food and the conversation just flowed. Eventually, we closed the restaurant down and Jason walked me to his Jeep to grab a sweatshirt for me to wear on my Uber home because it was chilly outside. (I know…I know. I am an Ohio girl gone Florida girl but let me just tell you that the blood thins!) As we walked to his jacked up Jeep, he pulled out an Orange County fireman sweatshirt and I laughed asking how many women he had given this to- which is something that we still joke about today. He loves to tell about the part where I went to pull it off to return to him when he said, “Hang on to it. I will get it when I see you next.” He says that was him “move.”

There are many more things that brought us closer that week before our next date that I may share at some point later, but to make a very long story short, he met my three kiddos at the end of January- which to me was terrifyingly early. I did not want to allow my kids to meet someone who may not potentially stick around, however, one of my best friends reminded me to stay open and to allow things to unfold without overthinking. (There’s that “living in the moment” re-centering thing that I said I strive to do. Thank goodness for amazing friends who remind us of who we are and how to be.) One evening as we sat in my driveway, he shared that he had met with his financial advisor and that he would be able to retire from the fire department at the same time that my youngest, Graham, would be graduating from high school. He shared that his dream was to open a wedding venue in the mountains of Tennessee or North Carolina and to eventually open another one in Florida to be working snowbirds. Now. I have to be honest. I heard this but I wasn’t truly listening because I was still fearful of having my heart broken. My walls were still standing strong around my littles and I, and as I heard him say this, there was even a childish part in me that was like “Good for you! Go and do it! Nice knowing you.” 

It wasn’t until June, when he and I took a motorcycle ride to the mountains when I fell in love with him that I realized that this man had a serious dream. He not only had a dream to build this venue, but his dream was to create special experiences for people. As a fireman, he has seen some things that those of us not in service can truly comprehend. Through his own personal and professional experiences, he has seen a side of humanity that has led him to have a sensitive, strong desire to design and to share a space with others for creating memories and for LIVING. On that motorcycle ride, I knew in my bones that as the woman who was lucky enough to be loved by him that I loved him right back. And I knew that I was supposed to encourage him. It was on this ride, that it was obvious that he needed to begin building the dream NOW rather than waiting until retirement. In fact, that was my question to him shortly thereafter. “What are you waiting for?” 

For me. That’s where this dream began. For you…where does your dream begin? Lavender on the Lake is a good place to start.

Thank you for being here. Jason and I are so excited to be able to share this space with you and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is the perfect time to pause, to be in the moment, to lean in with love, and to be grateful for all that we have exactly right NOW.



PS. First time that we have ever shared this picture that we took together on our first date. 🙂

Sharing BTS

The beginning…

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  1. Janet Martin says:

    Wonderfully written