The Jelly Belly Factory

“Mom, do they actually make stuff in factories?” my 11 year old asked me.

“Yes, they do. Remember the Jelly Belly Factory?”

“No, I don’t.”

How can she not remember the Jelly Belly Factory, I think. A place we went many times in California. Then I realize she was just too little the last time we were there.


And it hits. That wave of grief. Grief may seem to strong of a word, but I’m going with it. The memories came flooding back. I suddenly felt that Ca air. Warm heat that isn’t using humidity to try and choke you to death. My kids are little again, I am not battling loosing post traumatic move across the country weight, and things are immensely comfortable, familiar, and safe.

But that’s not reality and somehow it just hits so hard that, that likely never will be again. I text my friend to tell her how weird it is that my whole entire life there is just gone and she replies, “No, it is still part of you.” and she’s right.

It is.




I ponder again where this level of pain comes from. Out. of. the. blue. And again I conclude that it doesn’t matter. It just is. But then again, I had a great and terrific morning and I have never been more keenly aware that when I take a step forward Satan is kinda mad about that. So, coincidence? I think not.

I received a text last week to see if I would be interested in heading up decor for a gala for a crisis pregnancy center that is in town. Gala? My thoughts turn to Rachel’s regatta gala and I smile. Then I find out it’s at a building built in the twenties, an old theater. Downtown. Please pinch me. And the cause? raising money to save babies lives. Done.

So my first team meeting was onsite at the venue this morning. I’m an event planner without events to plan, as of late, and they start saying words like stanchion and evening wear and I promise I want to just curl up on the floor and die. Or more realistically, close my eyes under the 15 foot chandelier while they talk all around me. I’m home. Dramatic? Yes, I know. I can’t help it. I’m so honored to be a part of this and it just makes me happy to know buildings like this exist. I could live here. Have I mentioned that? …and event planning of any kind is my favorite.


Then today.

“Mom, you know what I can’t wait for?” my 11 year old asks me.

No, what?

“Summer. The pool to open, swimming after dinner, warm, cozy air, and Cicadas making those noises.”

Then it hits again. I went into her little imagination and I felt it too. The memories of summer came flooding back and I can’t wait either…for Missouri summer. My little Cali girl has made new memories and so have I. We’ve had two full years here. Two sets of everyone’s birthdays, two Thanksgivings, two Christmas Eves of throwing oatmeal spiked with glitter on the roof for the reindeers. It’s a good beginning.





I know the hours of the library by heart, I have made friends with half the checkers at Trader Joes, and I rarely use maps anymore. I drove to the grocery store in the snow this morning without any increase in heart rate. I’ve survived a couple of tornadoes and I’ve found the best thrift store in town.



The last three years of my life have been ones that I could never have imagined in so very many ways. Surprises and sharp turns daily, many times hourly. What God has done….it would take me a book to write it. Leaning into to Him is the very best choice that I make in my life and I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today if I had chosen something else.

My word this year….build.

My Jesus, ever faithful.











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3 Responses to The Jelly Belly Factory
  1. Nicole
    January 22, 2016 | 9:29 pm

    I love you. And I think you should write a book!!! So glad God brought you to Missouri and I hope to one day visit Cali and see for myself all the wonderful things you have shared with me 🙂

  2. Tiffany
    January 26, 2016 | 12:14 am

    Extra-happy to read your new post, and I agree about the “wave(s) of grief” that “(appear) as if from nowhere….” (Friends– Joey) It’s so true. ~ I miss the time when you wrote more frequently– both yours & Edie’s {at words have been deeply missed by me over the past year. ~ So excited for you on the event-planning! Hope you have a wonderful week– and 2016~! 🙂

    February 21, 2017 | 5:31 am

    The Jelly Belly Factory | Just A Night Owl

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