Playing Lego® and all that it represents

A few weeks ago, I took a day – and I mean ALL DAY, like 11 hours – and built the Lego® Tower of Orthanc. It was a Wednesday, it was spectacular. How was I to know it would prove to be such a symbol of my career??

The week after Easter, my kids were off school, and by pure chance, my husband happened to be home all week as well. Months prior, I had purchased a ridiculously huge  and expensive Lego® set. I had no appointments scheduled, so after breakfast, I told the kids we were putting it together. (FYI, by “we”, they understood that I clearly meant “by myself”.)


Arik chilling with Treebeard

Once we got the Ent finished, my kids were pretty uninterested, but I was determined!

(After we built this, he just wanted me to get the level with the balcony    done. And play with the Gandalf & Orc minifigs.)

By the time I started working on the tower itself, I was pretty much on my own. I hadn’t realllllly grasped how big the project was, and when I did, I sort of thought: “Whoa. I’m never going to get this done today… ”


The rat is my fav part of Stage 1. Look at his tail!


I sat back, looked at the box, and approached it the way I tell my clients to do stuff: lots of small bites are easier to chew than one big one.  I started thinking of each level as a STAGE, and dug back in – and got in THE ZONE.  I let my mind just wander, like it does when I’m on my bike, and this post is about what I was thinking, each step of the way.

Stage 2: How freaking awesome it was that I was in a position to take an entire day (and at this point, I had no idea it was going to be ALL DAY) to put together a monster Lego® set. How I wish my ass-busting, house-building extraordinaire Dad were here for me share this story.


Stage 2 – What I think of as “The Foyer”

Stage 3: Being so grateful to be in a point in my life where I could do this, I went back to before I started my business. I had what I always jokingly refer to as a “Crappy $17/hr bookkeeping job”, but the reality is that I worked for someone that was (and still is) a great friend and hardcore Champion of Stacy. Before I worked for him and while I worked for him, he always reminded me that I NEEDED TO START MY OWN BUSINESS. He pushed me to do so, and never begrudged me for resigning to just that. He even got me my first client, whom I would meet with on the weekend. (I still have that client!)


Stage 3 – The Palantir AND LIGHT BRICK. Also pictured: Lord of the Rings tattoo, because nerd.

Stage 4: Thinking about my first client got me thinking about all those clients I had after I quit my full time job, clients that are all long gone now (except that first one), that I outgrew, or whom outgrew me… or the one that I’m pretty sure was Satan incarnate and taught me how to exit a bad client relationship with grace and gave me the awareness to avoid those types in the future. The clients whom were so gracious in scheduling time with me, knowing I was trying to get my business going. Clients that had no problem working with around my schedule while I still had a full time job; willing to meet with me sometimes until 10 or 11pm on weeknights, or on weekends.


Stage 4 – Potions!

Stage 5: In the middle of this level, my husband, Kevin, and I had lunch. It was lobster ravioli and glasses of red wine. Rather decadent and definitely a departure from the turkey sammiches we normally grab in a hurry when we’re home together during the day on the weekend. We pretended we were on vacation.

After lunch, I went back to building, thinking about how lucky I am – to have a badass husband that was willing to jump in to the uncertainty of my self employment. We’ve known each other since I was 12, been together as a couple since I was 22, and he has ALWAYS supported my decisions. Without waver. He’s never questioned whether I’m going to be successful at anything I try, and he is always my voice of reason.  I’m lucky to have a badass husband that understood then, (and was frustrated, I don’t blame him) that there were a years of 80-100 hour work weeks ahead.  He understands now (and still gets frustrated, I still don’t blame him) that there will be a few weeks of travel each year. And that getting through all of it will pay off down the road – and today is a perfect example of that payoff. (Also, he’s a much better parent than I am. #TrueFact)


Stage 5 – The book in the middle opens.

Stage 6: All of that brought me to our kids. Every parent thinks they’re kids are the cutest and most brilliant wonderful children to have ever walked the Earth, but I KNOW that mine are ; )

Really though, I probably wouldn’t have done any of this without them. They’re the biggest reason I push my myself to try new things, to do my best and never phone it in on anything. These two fantastic people that miss me when I’m gone, but understand that I work hard to provide them with what they need. Two sensitive, caring people that (hopefully) know that I’m always here when they need me. Two bright individuals that will understand later – if they don’t grasp it just yet – that I’m doing my best to be a good role model by showing them that working hard and figuring things out on your own is rewarding, and that it’s okay to ask for help.


Stage 6 – The armory. We haven’t yet found the doors that those keys open.


Stage 7: Speaking of asking for help… I wouldn’t be at this point without LOTS of help. Unconditional love and assistance from all of my friends and family and people I work with; people that have taken care of me, my kids and my husband or have helped in some way over the years. Whether it was letting Kevin drop the kids off at their house before work when I travel, being by my side when my dad passed away, or taking care of me when I had to have my gall bladder out before I left San Antonio after Scaling New Heights 2014 (Yes. That happened. I’m hoping to come back from #SNH15 in New Orleans with all of my body parts. Cross your fingers for me!).  I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by these people; these warm hearted, compassionate, GOOD people.


Stage 7 – I’m not so sure that Saruman and Wormtongue want people to see their rooftop sausage and baguette picnic.


When I got done and I sat back, admiring this kickass Lego® creation, I thought about what it really represented to me. The 11 hours I took to build this behemoth: reminding me that anything worth building, worth having, worth being proud of, takes time and attention – time devoted to it and some time away from it.

All 2359 pieces represent the people that have shaped me as a person, as a business owner. The people that I love, admire and look up as friends and mentors. All unique and with purpose, coming together.

Without all of that time, without all of those pieces, coming together in exactly the way they have, I might not have had the chance to play hooky in the middle of the week, just to play Lego®.


Tada! Saruman enjoying the evening on his balcony.



  1. Amy

    Wow Stacy – I love this post. Thanks for sharing this!

    • StacyK

      Welcome, and thanks! I miss you!


  2. DonB

    Forget about the bookkeeping! I want to go play with some Legos!


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