Six months ago (and four days, but who’s counting?), I walked away from my job to start this business. My kid is sick, but at the time we didn’t know with what. So much has changed for me and my family since then that I thought I should give y’all a little update, and maybe a heads up as to what you can expect to see from me, as well as Different Path Events, in the future.
Let’s start with the kid. My son, P, as we affectionately call him, has been diagnosed with a rare neurological sleep condition called Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS). KLS is characterized by sudden, prolonged periods of deep sleep, referred to as an episode. When P is in an episode, he sleeps anywhere from 14-22 hours a day, often only getting up to use the bathroom or eat. When he is awake during an episode, he has reduced cognitive functioning, which means he’s basically a toddler that towers over me. He also has reduced memory functioning, so he often doesn’t remember much leading into or during an episode. He can’t go to school and needs help to get food and complete basic tasks. Here’s the really fun thing: these episodes are totally unpredictable. They come and go at what feels like totally random intervals and can last anywhere from 2 days to a month. See why a real job became impossible?
Here’s the good news: as far as we know, KLS is not life-threatening in any way. Lots of folks who do have KLS have their episodes taper down to almost nothing by the time they’re in their mid-20s. We have a great support system at his school and with our docs and friends who are doing their best to learn all they can and support us in every way possible. When P is not in an episode, he’s bright and cheerful and funny as hell. In lots of ways, this could be a thousand times worse, and having words to describe this experience has given us so much relief. My team of folks and I also have plans to handle P’s episodes when I have weddings and events to be at, and I could not be more grateful for all of them.
In my first six months of work with Different Path Events, I can’t believe how lucky I have been! Here’s a list of what I’ve been up to:
- I am fortunate enough to work with The Opportunity Alliance to plan their major fundraising events for the year, and we’ve completed the first two, The Sea Dogs Welcome Back Dinner, as well as their annual Barn Raising. The third event, the Golf for Good Tournament will be held in just a few weeks at The Woodlands Country Club in Falmouth, a gorgeous venue!
- I’ve was nominated for not one but two different awards, which shocked me! I was nominated for The Portland Pheonix’s Best of… Wedding Services, as well as PROPEL Portland’s Hustler of the Year award. While I didn’t win either of them, I was so honored to be nominated in just my first few months of business.
- I booked my first wedding! I’ll be helping a really lovely couple, Mackenzie and Jason, with the to-do’s and timeline of planning their wedding, and then stepping in for the last month to take over as their Day-of Coordinator for their wedding in October of 2019. We don’t have all the details quite worked out, but I can’t wait to share this one with y’all! Hint: the theme is ‘spooky glam!’
- I’ve learned so much! I took a few classes with the amazing Maria Northcott of A Sweet Start and Maine Wedding Network. During the industry’s ‘off-season’, Maria works with other wedding vendors to grow their businesses, and she’s been invaluable! If you’re looking for an amazing officiant, please look her up!
- I’ve also met so many cool folks! I’ve been to a few networking events with the Maine Women’s Network and PROPEL. I think, because of one of those networking events, I’m about to book my first Pop Up Wedding, and I am so excited! If I had to guess, I’d say keep an eye out for that one in August or September, but you never know!
Going forward, my goal is to post here a bit more. The last month, as we’ve really been focusing on P, this has slipped by the wayside. Now that we have the words, my goal is to be back.
Like everything else about this business, this blog will be a little different from other wedding blogs. Likely, I’m not going to give you a lot of Reasons to Hire a Day Of Coordinator or Unexpected Wedding Songs articles. (I actually tried to write the one about music. You really don’t want to know the songs my friends suggested.) Instead, I’m planning to focus on my Five Favorites of the Month and some Dream Weddings.
In summer, more than any other time, I spend my time adventuring around Maine. This year, I’ve been making sure to spend part of my adventure time ‘working’ on getting to know the area; secret spots for ceremonies and receptions, vendors, parks, whatever! For my 35th birthday last week, I camped at Rangeley Lake State Park, and I can’t wait to share my finds from that area!
So, look for Dream Weddings and my Five Favorites. Come to me with your planning questions, your day-of coordinating needs, your venue research questions, and especially for your elopements and Pop Up Weddings! I can’t wait to see what happens next.