And then it hits you

I didn’t wake up like this. I was sleepy, sure, but I felt perfectly fine as I sipped on pre-workout and read through forum posts waiting to start our workout. I actually had a great workout, too. I felt awesome; I felt strong.

But then it hit me.

Sometimes it’s as if you’re strolling across a field and suddenly trip over a boulder you swear wasn’t there a moment earlier. You fall flat onto your face and the shock of it phases you for a few moments. You don’t really feel right the rest of the day.

But other times, it’s a slow crashing wave that washes over you. It starts slowly, then begins to consume you, body and mind. That familiar crush of emotion, pain, sadness – it’s all there waiting for you with open, scarred arms.
And in this moment, I realize I miss writing; I miss self-reflection; I miss writing songs; and I try not to allow my thoughts to linger so long on the past.

Seven Hundred and Thirty

Everything about this is a good explanation of why we’re perfect for each other.

Well, it’s time to finally come clean! 730 days ago, I married my best friend and lifelong partner in crime – Markus. We decided to legally tie the knot on 12-12-12, for obvious, number nerd reasons. I also told Markus it would be really easy to remember our wedding anniversary.

My dad was the only secret witness, giggling on speakerphone at our local, extremely small courthouse. There was also a random resident on the balcony, who cheekily clapped after we kissed. It was really the silliest thing ever, but it was something perfectly private for us without schedules, relatives, and dresses. We wore comfortable geeky clothes as we drove to the courthouse in the rain (an omen of good luck that produced a double rainbow on the drive home!)

It felt weird to seal our bond with this simple doing, but it was really fun to secretly “elope” amid the craziness of planning a wedding. I remember we took off our wedding rings when we arrived at his mother’s house – looking back now, I can only laugh at our attempts to hide it. Two days later, we spent a whirlwind weekend celebrating with friends and family at our epic Star Wars wedding.

They say fate is a funny thing, and after meeting Markus, I truly believe in it. After seeing him on an opposing escalator at DragonCon (thinking he was SUPER cute), and then randomly linking back to him here in Florida as I tried to join the 501st Legion … how can I not believe in it? Out of all the attendees, he just happened to be two hours away from me. There are just so many things that point to he and I being led together. I am so thankful to have a total geek for a husband, a person who accepts me for my hours of Dragon Age playing and Cullen-obsessing; a nerd who launched astronauts into space; a bearded Viking man who I see almost 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, who helps me lead a business and doesn’t drive me crazy as much as I would have expected.

So cheers to two years of marriage, and eight years of geeking out together. I love you, Markus. Thank you for accepting my weirdness with your own.



PressStartTurkeyIt’s Thanksgiving here today in America, which generally means a few things:

  1. Turkey. A giant bird has been ritually killed, frozen, possibly brined, then cooked again.
  2. Seriously, more food. Today is about seconds, thirds … fourths? Impressive.
  3. Football. I guess it’s some game where people throw a ball around and touch #butts.
  4. Family. It’s that time of year when you make nice around the dinner table, for better or worse.

It’s certainly been one heck of a year in the 365 days since Thanksgiving. Last year, Markus and I joined my side of the family. My sister was just recovering from a recent relapse and things were a bit awkward. My nephew was OBSESSED with Minecraft and cried when he couldn’t defeat some sort of arch spirit or whatever in a cave somewhere … I don’t exactly play, therefore understand, Minecraft. Continue reading “Thankful.”

Just Stop It, Internet.


Because #Reasons
Because #Reasons

I’m over this place. (I would say no fucks are given, but this post is chock-full of them.)

The world has turned terrible in the last month. At least, it feels worse than usual. I know that social media has magnified every bad thing in any city on the planet, but from the bombings in Gaza, to the death of Robin Williams, to the horrendous acts of ISIS, and now the unrest here in Ferguson, my hope for humanity is at an all-time low.

Lately it’s hard to spend more than 5 minutes on the internet without tiptoeing onto the ledge of spiraling depression. It’s overwhelming and awful. Reading about all of the terrible things pisses me off, makes me sad, and seduces depression back into my daily mental equation. Sometimes, it’s just too much for me. Continue reading “Just Stop It, Internet.”

Run, girl, run. It’s really living.

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.

The air is calm and cool against my skin. There is a dampness still clinging to the city after an early morning rain. I love these kind of mornings. Some people nearby complain to each other about the “dreary weather,” but this isn’t misery – this is rejuvenation. I slide a finger against my smartphone and hit play. The sound of music rings in my ears and the corners of my mouth creep upward into an appreciative smile. I’m really going to live today.

I set off down the street, my feet pounding on the pavement carefully. The last thing I need to do is fall. It’s around 10:30 in the morning so the convention attendees are already running around. I pass a few people, smiling as I habitually do to new faces, and receive smiles in return. My heart is beating harder and my legs are beginning to remind me that they don’t like to run. I ignore them.

I cross my first street and skip over the large white blocks as if playing a game. A lady in bright pink hair with bright red lips smiles at me. I hear her shout a “Woo!” as I jog off. I feel like a rock star.

It’s been nearly three blocks and my legs, hips, and ankles need a break so I slow down to a walk. My body is buzzing with every step and it’s an exquisite moment where I feel alive. Suddenly the early alarm clock doesn’t seem to matter; this is what I wanted to do.

I jog a few more blocks up to the large park, walking intervals in between. I decide to turn around after stepping up and down the local government’s staircase several times. I’m feeling good, I think. Let’s get a little crazy. As if in total conspirator agreement, my music speeds up and hits a particularly enthusiastic note. I start sprinting down the street.

Yes! I’m doing it! Run! The world is my oyster or something and I … My body creaks and my knee stings me with pain. Nope, nope, nope, nope!

I slow down and come to a stop, my shorts halfway on an archeological dig to my uterus, and my ankles ready to secede and declare war on my foolish brain. I try to quickly recover my breath and fail to suppress a stupid, goofy smile. For that one moment, I was a superhero. I was really living.

My music calmed in time with my steps and I headed back to the hotel. I passed more convention attendees. I smelled more than they did. I didn’t apologize. I marched back quiet and proud that at least today, I chose to live and it felt wonderful.

Becoming Shepard : The Beginning

I’ve been struggling. When I started working on realizing our business, I knew I would have sleepless nights. I knew I would be exhausted, frustrated and stressed beyond belief for at least the first year – those are just the initial consequences of jumping head first into the dark waters of the unknown. But despite the planning and preparation, I never factored in how profoundly it would affect my body.

Over the last two months of being open to the public, I have mostly adjusted to my night owl schedule: asleep anywhere between 3-6 a.m. and awake around noon or 3 p.m. at the latest. There are two upsides: 1) I get to talk to my West Coast friends a LOT more now, and 2) There’s very little traffic to and from work. But every day I have circles under my eyes that I embarrassingly cover up with makeup. All of my clothes fit much tighter, if at all. I’m spending a good chunk of each morning languishing over the dozens of shirts and pants that make me feel like a poorly packed sausage when I try them on. Honestly, it’s humiliating. And with GenCon less than 30 days away, and the daily schmoozing with customers, it’s making me feel a whole lot of helpless. Continue reading “Becoming Shepard : The Beginning”

Of Bars, Birthdays, and Blood Infections


Last Thursday (Gemini-Cancer cusp baby!) I turned 28, which means I’m two years closer to 30 and I also need to shut the fuck up about getting old because I’m still in my 20s (so you can save the comments now.)

Things have been insane lately! I opened my geek bar and it has consumed my life, but honestly, it’s fucking awesome. I have one day off each week, when I binge on television shows, video games, and the ability to be naked all day. It’s FANTASTIC. But every other day, I get to drive to the pub with my husband and work on our dream just a little bit more. We’re broke; we’re exhausted; and we have more laundry than teenagers, but it is so much fun. It’s really been amazing and we have an outstanding staff who have become family in less than a month. Continue reading “Of Bars, Birthdays, and Blood Infections”

The Good, the Bad, and the Niagra Falls

Life has certainly been something lately. It’s been a whirlwind trip where life seems to be passing me by at 88 mph. Tonight, lots of things have me down and I realized that I haven’t written much lately. Writing is my release – a form of therapy for the incessant ramblings of my mind. I have trouble shutting my brain down; I think about multiple things at once, and it’s really tough for me to get out of a spiral once it’s started. But since most of what I’ve written in the last few months has been about my depression or other negative topics, I want to try and focus on the positive first. Continue reading “The Good, the Bad, and the Niagra Falls”

I’m Having a Baby (No, I’m Not Pregnant)

I seem to experience this particular situation more frequently these days, which tells me that I’m (ew) getting older. The situation is another person finds themselves pregnant and then for the next nine months, my social media feeds and text messages are flooded with information, pictures, and fruit-to-baby comparisons all about her pregnancy. I find it annoying because I’m just not on the “baby mode” level in my life RPG yet.

But I’m having a baby.

I feel like I’ve been pregnant for months, because this baby has been taking a toll on me. I’m mentally exhausted; my body is physically drained all the time. My feet are tired; I’m spending money on countless daily trips to prepare for the big day; and I talk about it all the time.

Ohthe baby is my bar.

I want to half-heartedly apologize to my friends and the readers of this blog (still unconvinced that they exist!) for talking about, posting about, complaining about, and freaking out about my upcoming pub 24-7. My life has been consumed by building this business, my absolute first startup and certainly the first brick-and-mortar place. Starting a pub has been extremely challenging, but the last two years have taught me so much and I’ve been working really hard to level up my entrepreneurship talent tree to get that end game move – “Own a Successful Business!”

So while I am apologizing (sort of), I’m also not because I am completely and utterly excited as hell to finally see this dream come to fruition. When I was 16 years old, talking about opening a Lord of the Rings-themed restaurant called “The Grey Havens”, I never suspected I would be where I am today – just weeks away from birthing a 3,900 square foot beauty out of my business vagina. Yep, I went there.