So it now seems as though I will use this site once a year to document Brother’s Day. If you’re still receiving updates from this site, you are well aware of us turning 9/11 from a tragedy into a positive. For Melanie and I, we remember what the nation mourns and honors from so many years ago, but for our family we also have this day as an anniversary of Cutler’s diagnosis with AML. Thanks to a very smart 4 year old being tired of celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and asking when Brother’s Day is, we have created our own holiday that Hallmark really missed out on. Each year it seems we celebrate a little less in magnitude as the kids always have something going on, but we have never let is shrink from our hearts. Brother’s Day also serves as one of the only times of the year Mason does not burn from the touch of his brother.
9 years. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 9 years since the day that knocked us senseless. Today is the anniversary of Cutler being diagnosed with a rare form of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Here is a link to what I believe is the best way I have expressed, via words, how the day was for us. https://teamfricke.org/2014/09/11/our-personal-911/
As I scroll back through the “memories” section in facebook around this time of year I am often reminded of the pain and fear we went through but I am also reminded of the incredible outpouring of support we were surrounded with from family and friends from all over the world.
However, rather than let this time bring us down, with the help of Mason we chose to turn this day into a celebration of our two amazing boys. In 2010, after Father’s Day, Mason was fed up celebrating mother’s day and Father’s Day, so he asked when Brother’s Day was. We knew immediately it was to be on 9/11.
So today, amongst the sad memories of the original 9/11 tragedy from 17 year ago and Cutler’s diagnosis 9 year ago, we choose to continue to celebrate Brother’s Day.
Please join us in celebrating brother’s day and consider donating to our annual fund raising efforts with the Light The Night walk. We joined the fight so that others won’t have to some day in what we hope is the near future.
All donations are accepted, but we would also love to have you join us at the walk on 9/29 in Forest Park. Check out our team page here…
Today Melanie took Cutler in for his annual oncology appointment and he passed with flying colors. It’s easy to take his health for granted, but this time of year is a stark reminder of what he went through at such a young age.
I’m happy to say it was a clean check up and on to another clean year. And of course he got his annual photo with the giant bear in the waiting room.
We started this journey 13 months ago when we had our initial discussion with Jenna from Nothing Bundt Cakes. It has been one of the most grueling learning experiences in my life. I often look back and wonder how we got here. Just a week ago, as I was leaving the bakery after yet another late night, I looked back at the lit sign and wonder what in the world I was doing. Well it’s too late now to turn back. Thanks to my incredibly supportive family, my marketing extraordinaire sister, some very encouraging and supportive individuals from the support office, an amazing general contractor, and now two incredible ladies that flew in to work around the clock with us we have transformed a box ridden and poorly organized space into an efficient and hopefully well run bakery ready to be opened tomorrow. I’m exhausted, scared, stressed, and excited for tomorrow.
We have made some major progress in the past two weeks and even more so over the last week. In fact, we made so much progress I️ thought for sure we would be ready to start training first thing tomorrow morning. But alas I️ have been reminded once again that nothing goes as planned. On Thursday we discovered issues with our fire alarm communication board not communicating with the fire dispatch and were shuttered until it could be resolved. While waiting for the technician to arrive we managed to set off the fire alarm and somehow that faulty communication board communicated with dispatch and so we had a visit from the fire department, but still didn’t count as pass in the test. This is also where my beautiful young nieces discovered that Uncle Aaron is a bit more free with his language when under a lot of stress. After waiting nearly two days the technician finally showed late Friday and we believe has resolved the issue. We will no more tomorrow morning when the chief comes out for our test and if all goes well we should be training by Wednesday at the latest. Let’s hope I️ didn’t just jinx the project again.
After many hiccups along the way it is refreshing (and frightening) to see so much progress every time I walk into the bakery. At first the framing went up so fast, but then I blinked and there were walls.
We now have an oven (on wheels) that is waiting for the gas and electric so it can be removed from the wheels and installed ready for me to make some toast for it’s first official test. Yes, toast, I just learned that the first test for the oven is to place bread on the top rack, the middle rack, and the bottom rack to be sure it toasts evenly on all three racks…maybe I’ll make some chocolate chip cookies after that to bring in that nice smell for any visitors before we get the cakes rolling.
And just two days ago I got to watch them build the walk in chiller and cooler. It was pretty impressive watching them put it all together panel piece by panel piece as if it was a puzzle.
Starting today, while I’m in Chicago for a regional meeting, they begin epoxying the floors. When I return to the bakery next on Monday I’m quite certain I will be blown away by even more progress which just adds to my panic. It’s a silent panic that I have become numb to the majority of the time as I continue to plow through my ever growing to do list trying to prepare for us to start training on 11/13 shooting for a soft opening of 11/17 and then a grand opening on 12/8. So much to do, so little time to do it, but so much fun to continue building something for the future of my family.
On that to do list is to capture at least 500 emails during our marketing efforts prior to the grand opening. If you are local to our area and interested in receiving email updates on our grand opening plans and special offers throughout the year, please send me your email address and I’ll have you added to our mailing list. Don’t worry, it’s not a ton of spam, oh and you get a free bundlet on your birthday month every year. Guess I buried the delicious lead there.