It’s hard to look at 2018 and not define it by the loss of my dad. But when I look back at 2016 and 2017, I realize that they weren't defined by his sickness. They were defined by our joy, love, and hope. In the same way, why should 2018 be defined by his death? Maybe this year can instead be defined as a year of honoring the light he is for us, taking the good with the bad, appreciating small miracles, accepting God’s plan for us, leaning into love, sitting with the hard things, and having hope for good things in the year to come. Above all, I want 2018 to be defined as a year of letting light shine into the cracks of our shattered hearts.
I want to share the ways in which light really shined into my heart this year:
Buying a house - This year I finally embraced my innate nature of being a homebody. Having a place for Joe and I to call our very own is even more life-giving than I hoped it would be. From creating messes in my kitchen, to snuggling in on a Friday night, to tearing apart our bathroom, homeownership suites us so well. We love our home and we can’t wait to keep growing our lives here (and of course sharing it with all of you!)
Creating the loungewear capsule - The idea of creating a capsule out of loungewear is what really makes Nine56 unique. The need for elevated loungewear was something that I saw in my own life as an entrepreneur who worked from home and it is a need that I saw a lot of other women experiencing too, regardless if they worked from home or not. I realized that our loungewear could be a lot better and I created a capsule of pieces that were comfortable, refined, and ethically and sustainably made. This is a collection that I can’t wait to keep building on in the new year. If you are unfamiliar with our loungewear capsule read more HERE.
Successfully funding our Kickstarter Campaign - This was something that I worked toward for well over a year. Even after all of my research, resources, and planning, I felt completely unprepared to market my clothing line to the world. And although I feel so excited that we were able to introduce Nine56 to women globally, it was the support of family and friends that really made this happen for me. So to everyone who shared, pledged, and encouraged me, I could not have made this important step forward without you.
Finding my work-from-home stride - Being a chatty extravert who went from always spending time around people to spending 10-14 hours a day by herself was not an easy transition. It took a lot of mindfulness and experimenting to get me to a place where I feel nurtured, productive, and joyful in my daily routines. And you can bet that my wardrobe played no small role in finding my work-from-home stride. I am excited to write more blog posts about the changes I made to get me to this place-including specific changes I made to my clothing.
Creating the Simply, Lived In Podcast Series - A project that I poured my heart and soul into this year was my podcast series. I started out knowing nothing about podcasting, only that I wanted to learn from incredible women who were redefining what living well looked like, and that I wanted to share it with other aspiring women like me. I ended the series taking away more than I ever imagined I would. This was such an amazing learning experience for me and really helped me define the values that I want to live by. The Simply, Lived In Podcast is a 25 episode series that you can find on iTunes HERE!
Learning what homesteading is - You know those magical moments when you finally have a word for something that you’ve been so passionate about? That happened to me at a workshop a few months ago when someone first spoke the phrase, modern homesteading to me. Suddenly, my interest in slow living, functional medicine, and from-scratch cooking, had a name and it opened so many doors to resources that let me dig further into this passion. And I am just getting started! Read THIS POST about how I discovered from-scratch cooking was for me and look forward to more blogs about my homesteading journey in 2019!
Owning what wellness looks like in my life - Most of my life, I didn’t think much about wellness other than weight loss. For a period in time, wellness looked like group fitness, health food stores, and trying to find the perfect diet. Now, I am settling into a space where wellness looks like creating healthy routines, buying food locally and seasonally to make meals from scratch, paying attention to what my body is telling me, still enjoying coffee in the mornings and wine in the evenings but also being mindful about what I am putting into (and on) my body. I am learning that wellness looks different for every person, in every season and that is something that we have to honor to be truly well.
Planting my first, tiny garden - Literally, this garden was the scrawny leftovers from the farmer’s market. It consisted of 4 tomato plants and two jalapeño plants that my mother-in-law helped me plant way too late in the season but we thought, what the heck?! Only two days after planting my little garden, I got the call that dad was not doing very well. I packed my bag for an undefined amount of time and asked Joey to water my garden for me. I didn’t return home for two months, a time in which I watched my dad get sicker, held his hand as he left us, and felt the weight of grief land heavily on my shoulders. I returned to an unfamiliar house that we had closed on only two weeks before my dad’s sickness really progressed, long days of Joe being away at work, and a lot of life to unpack. And every day I would go out to my little garden and bring in my small harvest that had been cultivated by Joe’s diligent watering. And I would feel a little more connected and a little more excited about life’s tiny miracles.
Celebrating our first wedding anniversary - At our wedding ceremony, Pastor Mike talked about how in life there are seasons of calm and seasons of storm. In our first year of marriage, although Joe and I have been in a season of storm, we have continued to find calm in each other. I look so forward to all of the seasons that life has in store for us, and although there are sure to be more stormy seasons, it brings me great comfort to know that we will be walking through them together.
Showing up (and letting others show up for me) - A huge part of my 2018 was showing up, free from judgment about what that should look like. Somedays that looked like taking care of my dad when he was bedridden. Somedays it looked like spending the day alone, weepy in my pjs. Some days it looked like leaning into work that was important to me, creating a healthy home and building healthy routines. Somedays it looked like spending valuable time with family and friends. For the people reading this who showed up for my family this year, you have been a light to us in more ways than you know and we can’t thank you enough.
Maybe in reflection of this year, instead of only making lists of resolutions, achievements, losses, or goals, we can take a moment to remember and be thankful for the ways light has shined in our lives in the past year.
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