Today is my first day back at the CJDE studio since March 13th. (Everybody has been working remotely as we’re all still practicing safe self-quarantining)

When I walked in an unexpected feeling of gratitude washed over me. It was emotional.

The business had multiple March events that required us to put our heads down and Get. To. Work. 

Day by day I absorbed our “new normal”. Learning how to navigate postponements, playing quarterback for our Clients and vendor teams. Being an advocate for supporting my new favorite “Everything is Figureoutable” mantra (thanks Marie Forleo) while allowing time and space for the tears. The venting. The acknowledgement that these are unchartered times that are scary, unknown and stressful.

While I put my head down in business, as a wedding planner. Event Industry professional. 



One constant sentiment kept rising to the top and because there is no division between “CJDE Christine” and “Friend, Girlfriend and Daughter Christine” I welcomed this sentiment across all branches of my life.


Times are TOUGH. I do not deny this nor am I naive. 

I am self-quarantined to flatten this damn curve. I’m sending love to everyone affected by COVID-19 medically as my heart aches for those who have lost and for those who are fighting to keep us healthy. I’m a responsible small business owner who receives updates from friends and studies every possible grant and tax break (Thank you Brittany, Phil and Lindsay!). I’m washing my hands 1001 times a day. Checking in on industry friends to see how we can work through this together advocating postponements and not cancellations of events. 

A few days ago I received an email entitled “Women Leadership & Encouragement” from a friend who manages an iconic Chicago venue. Because of her, through a beautiful web of strong women I now receive numerous poems, links, articles and songs FILLED with love and daily positivity.

Words like:

“Every setback is a setup for a comeback! Watch out end of 2020….we’re all coming for you!”


“The best thing about your life is that it is constantly in a state of design. This means you have, at all times, the power to redesign it.

Make moves, allow shifts, smile more, do more, do less, say no, say yes — just remember, when it come to your life, you aren ot only the artist but the masterpiece as well.” – Cleo Wade 

All from beautiful Women I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting in “real life”. 

So as I sit in my beautiful office, “isolated and alone”, I am grateful that this right now is real life. Yes, I can’t WAIT until we can all hug and talk and dine and laugh together again. Hell, I can’t wait to start PARTYING again with you all! 

But today, I’m grateful for this “real life new normal”. That my weekend plans are “we’re going to cook this…and play this game…and then do facemasks…” because there once (and will again!) be a time my weekend plans are “I ran around here and here and am exhausted and ooh, I just miss your face!”. 

I’m grateful for my friends and family and Clients I get to still Zoom and Facetime with. Grateful for this pretty office I get to come back to in isolation just to water plants.

Grateful for the small businesses fighting to stay open another day. For my badass CJDE team who have continued to work so damn hard for our Clients and are still daily, sending ME texts just to make sure I’m okay. 

Grateful that 2019 dealt me a few hard cards. Life lessons. All that taught me how to dig deep and learn just how strong and invincible I  am. 

There are countless health and news updates a day and to them I thank you for keeping us safe and informed.

I also thank myself to know when I need to listen and when I need to say “sorry doom and gloom, enough is enough!”

Throughout this current “real life” what I can stand for at CJDE is a happy teeny tiny corner of Gratitude and Happiness in the world. And that my friends, is what I will continue to share. 





p/c: Brittany Bekas Photography

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