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6 Years

Updated: May 5

Six years. It feels like forever ago. Yet, it also feels just like yesterday, too.

Six years ago today, Hannah Jane and I got in a rental car and left NYC. It was our second trip to the city, but our first girls trip alone. The first time we had to navigate the subway on our own. The first time we had to buy Broadway tickets without the help of a travel planner. The first time we were left to our own resources in a city that could easily have swallowed us up in mere seconds.

And today we sit in that very city in the middle of a PANDEMIC for Pete's sake! We have been in a tiny apartment - just the two of us and these three ridiculous cats for going on eight weeks now. And, if the predictions are right, we could be here for 3-4 more weeks. Of course, it's not all boring. I mean, one of these cats decided to sprout diabetes the first week of the pandemic just to keep things exciting for us. I'm telling you, they seriously think that we are here to serve them.

Anyway, all that to say nothing is easy about life right now for any of us. We wear masks every time we leave our house. Grocery stores are sold out of all the stuff we want. I haven't had bacon in two months. Ya'll I NEED BACON!!!!!!!! While deliveries are starting to come, for the first few weeks it was literally a game of fast fingers. I know every NY'er was sitting in front of their computer hitting the refresh button over and over praying to grab the one delivery window that opened at midnight.

We are all looking at what our new normal is going to look like. My office is going to take care of patients differently to keep everyone safe, so we are in planning mode. Hannah Jane is looking at a very uncertain future. We have no idea what is going to happen to her business. We know it will come back, but it's going to be a slow return.

But today something was different. As I was flipping through Facebook, I came across a memory post that really got me thinking. This particular post was the last day of our first official girls weekend in NYC. We came to see Kristen Chenoweth at Carnegie Hall. A dream come true for my then 13 year old songbird. I got an especially nice tax refund that year and decided to spring for tickets to see Kristen. These were far outside of my single-mom budget (gosh, they still are actually!) but it had been a hard few years for us. We had lost my mom the year before and we just needed a break. So, I splurged. The rest of the trip was budget all the way, but for two hours, I wanted my songbird to sit in this iconic theater and get lost in the performance of one of the women who had set her on this course and ignited her love for theater and live performance (Judy Garland being another one, and, well, we couldn't exactly see Judy live). Kristen was a tiny powerhouse of a woman that represented everything that Hannah Jane hoped to be someday.

I will never forget that 2 hours. We both cried the entire time. Wept. Like babies. She cried because she was in the same room with this woman that she had looked up to for so long. She wasn't a city girl, she was an Oklahoma girl. In Hannah Jane's mind, if an Oklahoma girl who loved Jesus could make it to Carnegie Hall, so could a West Virginia girl. I cried because all I could do was watch her. She beamed. Like the brightest light I had ever seen. She was enthralled with Kristen's every move. She sat on the very edge of her seat the entire time. She held my hand for most of it, and squeezed it over and over. At one point I was certain I was about to have broken fingers, but there was no way I was letting go. This is still one of the most magical evenings we have experienced in our entire lives. No lie.

For the rest of that 48 hours we just dreamed. ENORMOUS DREAMS. We held nothing back - No dream was too big for our little minds that weekend. We imagined what it would be like to live in NYC. What it would be like to have friends who were professional performers. What it would be like to study with real Broadway performers. What it would be like to actually stand on a stage and sing a duet with Kristen (maybe the biggest dream of all quite honestly). What it would be like to have a beautiful apartment on the Upper West Side. We left nothing on the table.

Then we left. It was over. Back to reality we went. But not before a 10 hour car ride. We had 10 more hours in our bubble and we planned to suck every last second from that bubble. So off we went in our little economy car with a level of excitement that propelled us to those WV hills singing Broadway tunes all the way. That is until we hit the West Virginia border. We had to make the customary pause to play Country Roads because that's what just what you do. We cried a bit, because we always do. We are proud Mountaineers, and we always will be. As soon as it was over we were right back to Broadway until we pulled into our little townhouse.

She beamed whenever anyone asked about the weekend, but neither one of us had a clue what was to come.

A month later - everything changed and the next five months were like a blurry roller coaster that I still look back on with total amazement. How in the world did we get from two WV girls dreaming impossible dreams, to two WV girls LIVING those dreams??? If you want to know what happened in that five months, hop over to Amazon and buy my first book, The Hot Mess Express: The Peterson Girls Adventures.

Today is May 4, 2020.

Six years ago on May 4, 2014 I was in a car.

Singing Broadway songs and dreaming dreams we thought would be just that, dreams. And Today, we are sitting in an apartment in NYC that is just perfect for us LIVING those dreams. I can't believe it's been six years since that weekend. Most of those dreams we said out loud that weekend are now realities in our lives. We still don't live on the Upper West Side. And she's yet to make her Broadway debut. But that's ok. We are here.

We are also in the epicenter of a Global Pandemic. We are quarantined in a tiny apartment. We are living on a very day to day schedule as the powers that be try to sort out what happens now.

And this is where the realization comes in. So many people have messaged us and asked why we didn't come home. People offered us places to stay. People offered to come get us. And each time we felt so loved. But never felt like we should go. It just never felt right.

Today I realized why we didn't say yes. That one little post on FB and a simple walk down memory lane brought everything into focus.

We are home. THIS is our home. Six years ago this wasn't our home, it was just a dream. But today - IT IS. It's no longer a dream. It's our reality. And there is no place either one of us would rather be.

Even in a global pandemic.

Six years. It feels like forever ago. Yet, it also feels just like yesterday, too.


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Ready. Set. Fear.

The last six months have been pretty exciting in my house. Hannah Jane prepared for and presented her SECOND solo cabaret show to a nearly sold out house and I wrote a book. Yes, you read that right .

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