My Eighth Annual Cookie Swap

Yesterday was a hard day.

Yesterday was a great day.

I’m thankful that the two can co-exist a bit better than they could a few months ago.

I woke up yesterday giddy with excitement for having all of my favorite women in the same place, and I went off to the gym to burn off some of the anxiety about throwing the *perfect* party.

I ran my heart out on the treadmill and left endorphin-wasted and happy and sweaty.

But then, alone again in my apartment, I felt so alone in the world. I thought about the time my mom had come to my cookie swap three years ago, and the other times I’d called her to tell her excitedly about how well it had gone playing hostess, proud of her teaching me to entertain and open up my home (or fave gym, same thing) to the people I loved.

IMG 7146

IMG 7146

And I spent hours that I should have been cleaning and prepping sobbing and on the phone with my aunt and a dear friend who lost her parents young.

The other guests were set to come over at 2, but my gem of a BFF came over at 12:30 to help me finish the party prep.

IMG 1524

IMG 1524

I’m not sure we had enough cheese?

Cookie Swap Preppy Runner

Cookie Swap Preppy Runner

Llamas and cookies?

Preppy Runner Christmas

Preppy Runner Christmas

Although I started the day sad, my cold little heart grew a few sizes feeling warm, cozy and loved in my apartment with the, um, roaring fire and friends from different walks of life all gathered in one place to celebrate the holidays and eat and drink a little too much.

Just before my mom died, my dear friend Shannon told me my friends would help put me back together after falling apart, and yesterday, I got a wonderful taste of that.

I’m proud of myself for still holding the party, but I’m also proud of myself for not knowing where I’d be emotionally and scaling it way back and inviting far less people than I have before.

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