As told by Lacey:
Remember that time we announced to the world that Sisterhood of Secrets was back and then it wasn’t? That we would be launching the new site in the summer of 2014 and then didn’t? Remember when we asked you all to bare your souls and your deepest secrets and truths to us in preparation and then we failed to keep up our end of the deal and deliver the launch when promised? We certainly do. We remember. And we’re sorry. From the bottom of our hearts – we’re sorry.
When Ashley and I first set out to rebuild this community, we didn’t realize the time and work it would actually take to make it what it needed to be – what we envisioned and what we wanted for women everywhere. We were moms by day and come night, we worked in one of our kitchens recreating and designing the new SOS. As we got closer, we launched our Instagram campaign in prep for The Big Day and we were blown away by the outpouring love and support we received from all of you. And, boy, did that excite us. And then life happened (as it always does at the most convenient of times) and everything came to a screeching halt.
We like to think we are Super Women – that we can do anything and everything that we put our mind to. And while we can (I mean, duh), it’s hard to admit that sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, or, if we’re being completely honest here, enough emotional stability.
Like when you promise to create, build and launch an entire website at the same exact time your three kids are beginning their summer vacations from school. Because that’s super doable.
“We’ll just work while the kids play and entertain each other,” we said.
Yeah. Great idea. Because at ages 2, 3 and 5, they are perfectly capable of doing just that. Because our kids don’t fight or hit or need parental supervision at all times. Nope. They’re perfect – said no mom ever. We were so tired from wrangling and refereeing our children all day long, our nightly work sessions grew few and further in between too. So there was that.
And then there was that eventful Sunday morning when I walked into my kitchen to find a crack from the ceiling down to the floor on the wall that connected my kitchen to my garage that was NOT there just the night before. In the following week, we would find out our entire house was collapsing (yes, collapsing!) and we needed to completely take down that wall to restructure it. This also included dismantling the entire A/C unit to rebuild the wall in the brutal heat of summer.
And because I’m an absolute lunatic, I made the oh-so-awesome decision to completely gut renovate the kitchen at the same time. So no A/C and no kitchen for two months in the dead of summer. And did I mention I was 7 months pregnant? Yeah. Good times. If you do the math, two months would put me right at my due date. Like I said… complete lunatic. Please also take note that there is nothing more detrimental to your marriage than the hormones of pregnancy mixed with living in a full gut renovation of your home. It is a miracle to report now that it’s all over that we (barely) still love each other.
As if THAT wasn’t enough (and I promise you, it most certainly should have been), my 3-year-old daughter decided to get the sickest she had ever been on day ONE of construction with 105-degree fevers for 10 solid days which resulted in a surgery to remove her adenoid. We were in and out of the hospital for two weeks and unable to stay at home during the day. Every morning I would pack up our things and head to my parents’ for the day so my baby could rest just to come home to a complete construction site. To say we wanted to kill each other by the end of it is an understatement. Even my dog was scouring Craigslist for a new home.
Ashley tried to maintain as much as she could on her own since her best friend and partner had left her high and dry to embark on what we now lightly refer to as The Downward Spiral of 2014. Not only was she expending her energy into supporting me through everything I was going through (I literally think I may have died without her), she and her family were catching some of life’s curveballs of their own.
For those of you that follow Ashley over at Little Miss Momma, you all know her two incredibly gorgeous boys, Wesley and Sawyer. And you may also know that after years of various therapies, doctor visits, evaluations and what I like to refer to as some of the best damn parenting I have ever witnessed, their family finally received an answer and a diagnosis for their 5-year-old, Wes. There is generally a negative stigma attached to the word “diagnosis” but in this case, that is not so.
I won’t even pretend to know what it’s like to have a child with Autism. Wesley is not my son but the love I feel in my heart for that little boy, he might as well be.
Every child has different needs and requires different attention and, unfortunately, there is no parenting manual out there guiding us in the right direction. But that’s what I saw this diagnosis provide for my dear friend – not only some direction for their family for Wesley’s future but some confirmation that her super power mommy instincts had already been guiding him in the right direction all along
With that being said, it hasn’t been easy for Ashley’s family. I watched her throw herself into researching and reading everything she could get her hands on about what life with Autism looked like. I wanted so badly to help provide her with those answers but I couldn’t. I was in unchartered territory and had zero experience or wisdom to bestow upon her. I wish there was some textbook explanation for how to be there for your best friend when her child gets a life changing diagnosis (in case you are wondering, there is not) but I had my trusty ears and bad humor to offer her and that was just going to have to be enough.
At the end of the day, it takes time to wrap your brain and your heart around Autism. Which is exactly what Ashley and her family did, and what those Stocks do best. They took some time to themselves, for their family and for their boys, to rally behind Wesley and one another to build the proper foundation for their new future. At which they’re killing the game too, might I add.
By the time we got to the end of all of that, the summer and our launch date for Sisterhood of Secrets had come and gone. The holidays were upon us, as was the delivery of my second child. The kitchen was complete, the kids were back in their routines, and Wes was thriving at his new school. Ashley and I finally had a moment to take a breath so we headed out for some much needed retail therapy.
We had been walking the mall for hours, hoping to induce me into labor, when I felt a pain start up in my calf of my already very swollen leg. We stopped to rest and eat some dinner, chalking up the pain to too much walking and being nine months pregnant. It wasn’t until the next day, after Google had gotten the best of me, that I went to the doctor to learn I had not one, but two blood clots in my right leg. I was two weeks away from my due date and had to immediately begin injecting myself with blood thinners twice a day. And then I had a nervous breakdown – a very real and very scary nervous breakdown.
I won’t go into the details of my massive anxiety attacks and daily trips, plus one ambulance ride, to the ER those clots induced (I’ll save those fun details when I publish a secret of my own) but two weeks and a lot of tears later, I delivered a beautiful, healthy 7lb baby girl and all was right in the world once again.
It’s been two months since Piper has entered our lives. We are finally getting into the groove of life with a newborn again and the aftermath of The Downward Spiral of 2014 is slowly dissipating – things are finally looking on the up and up. While some days I just want to sit and nurse and binge watch Sons of Anarchy (and, let’s be honest, I do), it’s time to get back to that promise we made you. Because I need you girls in my life. I need this Sisterhood to feel whole and understood and maybe just a little less crazy in this world.
So there it all is – how the delay of our awaited launch came to be. As I sat to write this (and had the stark realization of how absolutely ridiculous the past 6 months really sounded out loud), I tried to find a way to explain our absence without purging every detail but, in the end, I felt you deserved the truth in its entirety.
See, life can be messy for all of us at times and that’s just what this community is about – a place for us to open up and feel connected… a place to share our truths and display our imperfections loud and proud. You’ve all been a part of this journey with us from the beginning and I am convinced now more than ever of the support and empowerment this community can provide. The hope it has already given me even when things were at it’s worst. I am so excited to see what we’re capable of as we come together to build this Sisterhood. Aren’t you?
Thank you for listening. Thank you for waiting. Thank you for being a part of this movement. Without you, none of this would be possible. With that being said, and without further ado, I’d like to officially welcome you to The Hood – to YOUR Hood. I hope it was worth the wait and I hope we have succeeded in giving you a safe place to come to when you need it the most. Because we all need this space. I know I certainly do.