My Night with Dax Shepherd and Bradley Cooper

It’s late; it’s the time of night when you know you should be responsibly in bed, but the darkness feels too full of magical possibilities to sleep. Candles glow as I enter a room full of handsome men. A hush falls and all eyes turn to take in my red dress. I walk through the crowd, to where Bradley Cooper and Dax Shepard are casually sitting and chatting, oblivious to my grand entrance. They obviously do not know who they are dealing with, and what a catch of a woman stands in front of them. I stop in front of Bradley and say, “Will you accept this rose?” He looks up at me with those crinkly eyes and calmly says, “No.” 

I don’t lose my cool, I’m not flustered. I am level-headed and persistent. Confident. I explain to Bradley that we don’t have to go on a date. We can just hang out, we can just get to know each other and be friends. Bradley considers this and decides to accept my rose after all. I move over until I’m standing in front of Dax. I ask him, “Will you accept this rose?” He smiles his crooked smile and replies, “No.” I say, in calm disbelief, “Are you kidding? Did you just see what happened with Bradley? I’m going to convince you to take this rose, so why not save us the trouble and just take it! No romance necessary, we can just hang out and be friends.” Of course Dax agrees to be my friend. It’s great to be the Bachelorette.

Then my alarm rings. I don’t usually remember my dreams. And I never dream really delicious, fun dreams. Although sometimes I do go shoe shopping in my dreams with my best friend who lives in Denmark that I only get to see once every few years. Those are fantastic dreams! But back to Bradley and Dax. When I woke up, I took a minute to ponder this Bachelorette dream. It’s no secret that I’m quite fond of Bradley and Dax. But did the dream just serve as a way to interact with my celebrity crushes? I felt like there was more to it. I woke up with a feeling of satisfaction, like I had worked hard at something and gotten exactly what I wanted. I think the dream had a deeper meaning. I actually had this dream the night after I made one of my real-life dreams finally come true.  For the past year, I have been trying to connect with a particular shop in Lake Geneva, WI. If you’ve never been to Lake Geneva, it’s adorable. Cute shops, cute places to eat, cute places to stay, fun things for the whole family to do. I love it there. If I could live there, I would. There’s a little shop right on Main Street, called the Queen Bee Artisan Market, that holds treasures made by many artisans. When I visited it for the first time last June, I knew I wanted in. I always follow my heart instinct when it comes to big life decisions, which include business decisions. I can feel in my gut whether something is right or wrong. I knew this was the right fit for me and my line of weighted products.  I began to ask around about how to get into this adorable little shop. The owners are fantastic. And also super duper busy running multple businesses. Every effort I made to get in touch with them to see if I could be a part of their shop was unsuccessful. I called the store multiple times, I emailed, I Facebook messaged...nothing. I know that sometimes life is overwhelming, and I believed these owners were truly trying to do the best they could to handle their growing, thriving collection of businesses. I believe there is a perfect time for everything. I tend to want to rush the things I know I want, and not let them percolate and develop and come to me when the time is right. I’m practicing patience. I decided not to get upset with this year-long pursuit of my dream store. I just knew the timing wasn’t quite right yet. But I didn’t give up either.  In November, I did a craft show at a fairgrounds in our area. Ella and I decided we should take a walk around the show while Dad manned the booth for me. Craft shows are the best. I love the people, I love seeing what humans are capable of making all by themselves, I love the creativity and charisma of everyone at a show- both vendors and customers. As Ella and I walked around the enormous event, we were drawn to a booth that was selling handmade jewelry that was exquisite. It had soul and style and beauty.  Because I’m me (insert my family doing a collective eye roll), I began talking with the owner and found out she had several businesses. She was so fun to chat with, and I felt like we bonded quickly. She told me her name. I recognized it from somewhere...and then I realized she was the owner of the store I was trying to get into in Lake Geneva! I couldn’t believe it. What are the odds that I would just accidentally bump into the very person I’d been trying to reach for months at a craft show we were both working? Crazy. That’s what you call a God Wink, or a synchronicity. Or a miracle!  I explained the products I make to my new friend and she said she definitely was interested in having my products in her store in Lake Geneva. I was thrilled! One of my dreams was coming true! And then I lost touch with her for another 5 months.  I called the store, I emailed, etc etc. Couldn’t get in touch with this busy team. But I didn’t stop hoping and visualizing my dream coming true. I knew it would, because I’m calm and determined when it comes to getting things I really feel are good for me. I refuse to give up. Must be that timing thing again, I thought. I guess it just STILL wasn’t the right time.  (Sometimes I get a little irritated. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “In God’s time, not my time...” Sometimes I argue with God because I think I know what’s best for me and I’m a teensy bit irked that God doesn’t agree with my timeline. But I digress.) At the end of April, I went on my first ever women’s retreat with a small group of women who became fast friends. The weekend was organized by 3 of the most incredible women I’ve ever met. The weekend was called, “Crazy Blessed,” and it focused on how to heal your heart, and how to work through things that have come up that you want to be different in your life. 

The retreat experience was life-changing for me. In more ways than one. I have never been able to experience getaways like so many people I know are able to do, because my family has never been at a point where it was feasible for me to leave them with Dad for 2 whole days and have everyone be calm enough to handle my absence. This retreat fell in my lap and I just decided to say “yes!” And figure out the details after that. I knew I couldn’t miss it. The retreat was held in a sweet little B & B in guess where...Lake Geneva. I thought, since I’m going to be going right by that little shop I really think I need to have my products in, I’m just going to pop in there and check it out, and make contact with whoever is working there today. Probably it will be another dead end, but it’s worth a try.  I entered the store and explained to the friendly woman who was working about my mission: how I had met the owner, she wanted my things in her shop, but I can’t get in touch with her because she’s so busy. Get this—- The woman said that BOTH owners (a husband and wife team) were IN the store RIGHT THEN. She said that NEVER happens, because they are so incredibly busy, they hardly ever are able to be at the store, and never at the same time. She brought me over to the owner that I had met at the craft show 5 months earlier, who remembered me! She called to the back of the store for her husband to come up and bring a contract for me because they need my things in their store.
Inside I was jumping for joy. Ok, a little bit on the outside too. In fact, I was so exuberant that the owners asked if I would consider working one day a week in their shop as well as having my products there. I would love to do that, but once again, the timing for our family isn’t quite right. I don’t want to make a commitment I can’t follow through on, and our family is too up and down with crises to commit to something concrete like even a very part time job.
A couple weeks ago, I brought my line of products into the Queen Bee!!! I am so excited. My dream is finally a reality. The timing must be right. It is all working out. It is the most satisfying feeling when you’ve worked hard for something, you’ve persisted through challenges, and then you get exactly what you want.

After leaving my products at the store, I remembered my Bradley and Dax dream. This is what the dream was showing me: that when I calmly focus on what I know is right for me, or my kids, or my business, I can make anything happen. It might take a long time. It might take a lot of struggling. But if I hang on to that gut feeling that something is right, truly right, it will happen. I stay calm and determined. I keep my eyes on my path and know that no matter what comes my way, I will get to my destination. Even if it means taking a few wrong turns or detours. I will get there! Now, if Bradley or Dax show up at my doorstep asking for a date, I will have to tell them that while we can be friends, I am blissfully married to the perfect man for me. Sadly for them, I already gave my final rose to a man who accepts me without question.  My dream can be your dream too! You may not want products in a store, but we all have a special dream we wish would come true. When you have a goal or dream that you feel you’re truly meant to accomplish, remember Dax and Bradley. If I can convince them to be my friends (in my dreams), you can do anything too! Don’t give up. Just keep taking small steps forward, keep your eye on the end goal, and I promise you can make anything happen. If little old me can do it, anyone can. XOXO

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