Axum Coffee

Window Seat at Axum Coffee

This is me, apologizing for being late to arrive because it seems to be a trend lately and I’m not liking it either. Sorry. Though I am glad to see that you’ve settled at a table by a window. (Sunlight!)

We hug (yep, I’m a hugger) and as we get settled in, I introduce you to Kiran.

Axum Coffee Winter Garden, FL

Friend, this is Kiran. We have known each other since 2010 and have been talking about our new websites and we’re excited to have a third brain to add to the brainstorming today.

I immediately ask you what you ordered because I know Axum’s drinks are tasty and I may have to order that next time. Actually, probably not. I am quite attached to their chai tea latte… I mean, have you seen it? That and an apple cinnamon scone – so delicious!

Axum Coffee Winter Garden, FL

I’m thrilled to hear that things are going well with you! We nervously laugh about the fact that it has been way too long since we caught up. (That too is a trend that I have going…)

As soon as you ask me how I’ve been, the emotions stir within. The past few months have been very emotional and hard.

In April, Jeff’s son, Taylor, lost his mom to cancer. She had recently turned 30 and left behind her husband and two children, soon to be 13 and 5. I am glad that we were able to be there for Taylor during that time, but I am even happier that his family bond is so strong and that he has so many great people there for him, then and now. A couple of months later, Taylor came to Florida on a family vacation and they stayed 10 minutes from us and we were able to see him twice, so that was a very nice surprise!

Kelly Jeff Taylor Florida

You tell me about your recent vacation and I am so happy for you, but envious nonetheless. 🙂 We haven’t done much traveling lately (except for our Kentucky trips), but we did recently get a new vehicle that I love, so that has been the highlight of the past few months for me.

Chevrolet Equinox

The shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando shocked the entire community. I’m still shaken from it and worry about it happening again, here or elsewhere. It bonded Orlando together very quickly and it was such a different feeling to see and feel, though I will never understand how anyone can do that to others. And as tough as it was to see in person, I am glad that I was able to see the outpouring of love around the city.

Love is love is love, Winter Garden Theatre Florida

Not too long after that, we lost a major sparkle in Orlando, Colleen Burns. It showed just how short life really can be. Jeff and I met Colleen before she started at Yelp and just watching her job grow to fit her needs was amazing. She was always the bright light in the room. I still can’t believe she’s gone.

We start talking about family and pets and I try to fight the tears to explain what happened to our cat, Emma. After seeing one of her eyes was looking a bit different in May, Jeff and I took her to the vet and after tests, we were informed that it was lymphoma in her eye and it was best to remove it. June brought us a sweet little pirate kitty and she took to it very well.

Then, mid-July, we noticed her other eye was showing similar symptoms, so back to the vet. Another eye removal surgery was scheduled and a few days later, Emma was blind and yet doing very well around the house. She was figuring things out, getting up and down off the couches, snuggling with us, eating and drinking, using the bathroom and everything seemed well.

Emma blind cat

When we went to Kentucky late-July, on our last night there, we got a call that Emma had passed away. We had lost our baby. I miss her so much. Emma was getting used to it and getting things figured out and we were loving her even more. We were all getting through it together and were ready for it for the long haul.

Emma blind cat climbing

The house doesn’t feel the same. It seems crazy that such a small (in size) family member can change your life so much, but she did. Emma was practically my best friend because she was there more so than any person, ever. She knew how I was feeling and was the comfort in my every day. I will forever miss that sweet face, our baby.

Emma, cat burial, loss of a pet

She will never be replaceable, but one day it may be interesting to compare her personality quirks to a different cat.

The one thing that gives me a small bit of comfort in Emma’s passing is that it happened on July 31st, Harry Potter’s birthday. She and her scars share that with him and I will forever remember that.

There’s still lots of moments when I think I “see” her sitting in her spots around the house. We miss her a lot.

Rainbow Bridge Ornament

Beyond all of that sadness, I am happy to say that Jeff and I have both celebrated birthdays recently. And we have also been cleaning out the house and getting rid of lots of things, so that feels fantastic!

Gwen Stefani!

Amanda and I had a night away in Tampa for Gwen Stefani! Amanda spoiled us with a night at the Hard Rock and beyond having a terrible Uber drive there (he didn’t know where he was going with directions AND he ran a solid red light), the concert was amazing and we had a great time!

Gwen Stefani Tampa, Florida

Well, now that I’ve highjacked the conversation, we should talk about what we came here for – blogging. My focus in life seems to have changed in the past year and that is going to be reflective here and I am very excited about the things to come!

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