17 Apr With A Little Help From My Friends
Written by: Laura Nell Burton
Photography by: Christin Gish
It’s Holy Saturday. I’m approaching eight weeks of midnights. It’s late (again), I’ve just finished up dozens of beautiful flower arrangements because tomorrow morning we depart at 4 a.m. for Fredericksburg, Texas to raise up a white-tented luncheon serving fifty for a fabulous new client (#mustbeperfect). P.S. Don’t miss all the beautiful pictures capturing the day in the Cloche gallery, a few are below as a sneak peek.
We hope to be back in San Antonio in time to celebrate He Is Risen with our own families…part of being in the events business is sacrificing holidays and weekends. We know this, but this first Easter away from our own dawn-hatching chickadees is still bittersweet.
Back at home, the same Texas Hill Country sunrise illuminating us as work, will shine down on my eldest daughter (provided—please don’t fail us now, Echo—Alexa wakes her up) as she dutifully carries out what would normally be my Easter Bunny duties. Later in the morning, my mother-in-law will sear Heavenly lamb lollipops and dress scrumptious spinach salad (“Mimi” doesn’t believe in bottled dressing—on any occasion—God bless her gourmet heart!).
Enter also Honey Baked Ham, Au Gratin potatoes from Club Giraud, steamed artichokes from Cooper’s, deviled eggs from Central Market and dessert finale, Cakes By Cathy Young. Everyone is bringing Rosé, which will be blissfully flowing in pink splendor all afternoon, along with mimosas and Zing Zang bloody marys. I’ve left buckets of yellow daisies, daffodils and tulips to be cut and arranged by free hands at the ready. I’ve selected matching Beau Ties for the favorite men in my life (if you don’t already know about affordable bespoke Beau Ties, check them out A.S.A.P. including the darling history behind the brand).
The tables are set and the rest is up to my guests. I will walk into my house around noon and genuinely gush over how lovely it all is and how deeply grateful I am for the help.
And so, a new phase of life begins…
Because this may all sound fine, but what you need to know is that it’s not at all how I usually roll. My Southern hospitality mantra is do-it-all-ahead-so-I-can-love-on-my-guests-once-they-arrive. In full disclosure, it’s a combination of control issues, equally balanced with the fact that inviting someone to wash dishes in my kitchen stresses me out—to no end. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping when I’m the guest. Suffice it to say, I want our home to be a place to unwind, a respite from responsibilities where we nourish our loved ones, body and soul. This is my love language.
Launching a business is exhausting. Admittedly, I underestimated what was ahead. It’s been seven wonderful years since I retired from corporate America to spend more time with my one, then two, then three children (the youngest of which starts school in August). Seven years in the Mommy trenches of breast-feeding, diapers, preschool, elementary school, carpool, homework, housework, and managing life from my iPhone. Seven years of if-I’m-not-in-my-car-running-someone-somewhere-you-can-find-me-at-H-E-B!
What’s happened since then? Well, professionally, muscle atrophy (of the brain). It took a few weeks to get the wheels in this head of mine oiled and turning strategically again…now that they are, it’s exhilarating. The need for sleep has become a nuisance, another demand on my life. There’s so much we want to do, and we can’t wait to do it—all of it! We have big dreams…
On the personal side it’s a different story. A friend stopped by last week…and when I opened the front door, I watched her take in my face with a level of masked surprise. I am so tired. I do look haggard…
As we move from one phase of life into another, there’s always a period of time when it’s hard to recognize the person in the mirror. Last Wednesday, through a tears-at-midnight phone call to my business partner I admitted that’s where I am right now. Over the past eight weeks, I’ve done things I never imagined I’d do. I postponed my daughter’s birthday party an entire month because of new business projects. I sent my family to church for the first (and last) time without me so I could get ahead of the next week. I forgot Good Friday was a school holiday. As my kids get out of the car, we hold our hands up to make a cross. It’s the way we’ve always said “I love you” across parking lots, soccer fields, school performances…across space and time. On Monday morning I looked up from Instagram as I pulled through the end of the carpool line (#againstthelaw) to see my eleven year old crestfallen because I had forgotten. I remembered to apologize at pick-up, promised never to let it happen again, and broke the promise the very next morning. I’ve neglected my sweet, patient, ever-supportive husband, who continues to assure (himself) me that things will even out. I’m not proud of any of this, which is a real struggle on every level.
Coco Chanel said it well: “There is a time for work, and a time for love. That leaves no other time.”
So, how do we balance work and love? What do we do when the demands of both work and love are too much and we can’t do it all on our own? We grow up a little more. We learn to embrace imperfection. We get clearer on what’s important (and what’s not). Most importantly, we learn how to ask for help. Help from our God up above who gave us the greatest gift, His Son, and an Easter story to save the world. And, help from His second greatest gift, our loved ones—our families and our friends.
What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key…
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Hmm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Hmm, going to try with a little help from my friends…
Happy Easter, with the greatest gratitude for my loved ones and little ones who helped their Mama yesterday, it was a perfectly imperfect day. My cup runneth over.
Hallelujah, He is Risen, indeed.