When I was growing up, my grandparents lived about three blocks from the Carver County Fair. Every year, my friends and I waited with anticipation for the first sight of carnies traveling into town. We would stalk the fairgrounds as they set up, and report back to my family on how things were getting set up. We’d hit the fair every day – making endless laps around the midway, traveling past the “beer garden,” filling up on junk. and making bets at the tractor pulls and demos.

My love for the fair continued through high school, into college and adulthood. As the second week of August approaches, something in my bones says “it’s party time!” I look forward to the fair every year! I don’t think I’ve ever missed a Carver County Fair. There is something about the fair that lights me up. During the five days of the fair, you will see almost everyone you know all in one place!

An extremely happy moment in my life came when I finally turned 21; well, maybe I was 19 or 20 but who’s counting! Like a rite of passage, it was finally my turn to enter the “beer garden” and live it up. Johnny Holm, I love you! You turned the Wednesday night of the Fair into a top summer favorite of mine and many others for the past 13ish years. Endless warm Miller Light, beer-soaked feet, sweaty people dancing, hugs from everyone you know and so much energy. I showed up year after year for that contagious fair energy.

Fast forward to summer 2018 …and BUST. I missed my first Wednesday night of the CCF. I actually thought my life was going to stop. I decide to skip the fair, and stay home with Ruby and Marcus. I was four months postpartum – breastfeeding, tired, and just not feeling up to the fair. I had a moment of not giving two shits about the fair, the warm beer, the sweaty people dancing, as I only wanted to hug Ruby and sip wine with Marcus. I had some serious FOMO. How can I miss something I loved so much. Marcus even told me to go, but something just didn’t feel right. I stayed home instead.

The next day I woke up without a CCF headache and didn’t even feel bad at all. Marcus and I hit up the fair on Saturday night for a date. We had our annual pork burger, had a few beers in the garden, rode three rides – then I felt a little nauseous, and headed home to pump my boobs and drink wine while listening from a far. It was a quick visit, but was enough to fill my fair love. As we continued our date night at home, we agreed we like ice cold beer on our deck with really good food.  Like a cheese board instead of deep fried cheese curds!

As Fair week is here, I still feel excited. I can’t wait to show Ruby the action. I know I’ll eat a pork burger, cruise the midway – pushing a stroller – and start creating new memories and traditions with her. She’s going to love the animal barns! I won’t be at Johnny, so somebody please give him a hug for me and tell him I’m living it up in a total mom life way and it’s fantastic! I’ll be back again but probably not for a few years!

Are there traditions in your life that you’ve went bust on because other things became more fun or important? Please comment and share!

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