Life In Little Squares

Chasing the day: When you haven’t finished your first cup of coffee and everything seems to prevent you from getting a handle on the day. Also, when the baby poops everywhere just after he (and you) were dressed and when you make the decision to change him but wipey it off of you because it takes way too much energy… And he’s just gonna throw up on you in a bit anyway.

Love You From Inside Out

Rainbow baby: A baby born after a miscarriage or stillbirth.

After two devastating miscarriages, I didn’t know what to expect when I saw that pink line on the pregnancy test. I was so overjoyed. I laughed and I knew… I knew… that I had no control over your future. I surrendered. I vowed to enjoy you as long as I had you, and I did every step of the way. When I was too uncomfortable to sleep, I was ecstatic to buy pregnancy pillows. When I was so sick I could barely eat, I was giddy. When my absentmindedness took over, I gave up and gave in to the experience.

I was scared, but I was over the moon. I was careful, but I understood it wasn’t in my hands. We adored you from the start. You, a delightful surprise, the best kind of surprise life has to offer. I spent more money on pregnancy tests than I ever expected. I compared the pictures every day and I panicked when I saw the line change even in the slightest. I didn’t want to lose you. I knew you would be my miracle, if I would ever experience one in my life. A survivor from the start. At 20 weeks the sonogram showed you had a cyst in your brain that knocked the air out of my insides, but it was gone by the next appointment. I took a few late night trips to the emergency room when things weren’t feeling just right. Even, trips in between my prenatal appointments just to check on you. “Nervous Nelly”, as my midwife called me. But you didn’t need it. You grew and you grew, and came into this world a screaming pink and warm beautiful bundle of love and joy.

You.

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You showed me the true meaning of joy. Throw your haed back and laugh kind of joy. Dance in the rain kind of joy. The kind of joy that comes from deep inside. It was you. The feeling of you was intoxicating. You stirred parts of me to feel things I’d never felt before. The kind of happiness I thought I was too broken to feel. I felt your strong but gentle presence everyday. I fell into step with you. Feeling so blessed when my waistband expanded and my figure changed. You were the best kind of accessory. I decorated my growing belly every day. I was proud of you.

Now you color my world in the most beautiful hues of blues and reds and greens and everything in between… in prisma, metallics, sparkles and stars. The most joyful baby I could have ever asked for. My beautiful colorful miracle. My rainbow after the storms. Even after I had accepted the idea of a family of three, you came in to teach us that life is, well, unpredictable… and beautiful.

You sit with me as I type with one hand and caress your little leg rolls with the other. Your cute little sounds conjure up that joy from deep inside despite my ugly tears and runny mascara. From deep in my belly, I love you. My miracle. My rainbow. My best smile.

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Life In Little Squares

In this pic: Spit up, my lunch, homemade peach pie, and the first sit down since a 10-minute dinner sesh. What this pic says: A good convo with a friend, love from a baby, and domesticating for my family. Yes, today has been complete. Now who wants a stinky puffy hug? #CelebrateLife

Life In Little Squares

You know those days when you have a trek of a day evidenced by the sweat on your temples and the soreness in your muscles and your disbelieved hair, even though the landscape around you hasn’t changed? Not the baskets of laundry, nor the presence of food, no errands were run. But still. It’s been a full day and it’s not even over… Remember the sweat will dry, your muscles will loosen and your hair can be tucked. Breathe. (As I take a few good breaths in.)

Making Business and Family Work… For Me.

We were sitting across from each other at a restaurant one evening last year, I said something like, “I was thinking about hooking up with [big time essential oil company name] and creating [enter product description] for them, what do you think?”

Rustin shook his head mid Diet Coke sip and with big eyes said “Holy crap, Janey that’s a fantastic idea! But don’t sell it to them! Make it yourself!”

Frankly I was surprised he reacted so strongly. To me, it was just something I’d been making for myself for a long time. Afterward I told him I was sure nobody would buy this from me since I have no reputation of being a “hair product” guru, I needed someone big to back me. And he disagreed. Strongly.

I remember that night like it was yesterday. It was a warm summer night and the sky was full of stars, I stared at them on the ride home as I digested this idea to do it myself. I hadn’t thought of that before and, the honest truth, the idea didn’t sit well with me. I had legitimate, I felt, reasons of how and why I couldn’t make them and sell them on my own. My family dynamic was one of them which is why I wanted it off my plate, but I felt it could be something others might benefit from. I never, ever, ever wanted to be the mom that put anything ahead of her children or, at the very least, send the message that they weren’t #1. They are to always know that they are and always will be the priority in my life, in our life. We want to take them school together and attend every one of their practices together. It is so important to us to be present for all of those things because we will never get those moments back. I knew right off the bat that I couldn’t play the part I wanted to and run a business as well. Not by myself.

Which is why this has taken as long as it has. My family precedes all things, especially work. Being a mother and a wife is something that I take seriously and it humbles me to know that only I can play this role for them in my way. I wake up earlier than they do to fill in the tiny gaps or do some research and create. During the day, they have my full attention. It’s slow going but it’s ok. The other way of doing this wouldn’t fulfill me in the least. I delegate a lot to make this happen in the way I want. It’s so much better and easier than trying to do it all myself, not to say that I don’t feel overwhelmed sometimes or that I {like right now} feel like it will never, ever get out the door. I obviously do, but I couldn’t live with myself knowing that I set the most important people in my life aside for work.

Rustin finishes the things I can’t get to and is my contact person for our suppliers, which is a hefty load. I couldn’t do this alone and to have my husband by my side constantly pushing me forward is also very humbling. I have never felt more loved than when my very opinionated and straight-shooting husband felt my idea was so good that he got behind it so entirely with his whole being. I still can’t believe how lucky I am. And not to be all, look how great and wonderful we have it! Because, people, y’all know I’m the first one to say it’s not perfect all the time. It’s hard work. It takes work every day, in our marriage and in our work relationship. It’s the opposite of easy, but that’s what makes us thrive.

My own determination stems from the confidence Rustin has in me and a chance to see this through to the end. My definition of success is not to make a profit, it’s simply to attempt this. Try it. Do it. To see if we can see this through to the end of this phase. If we sell one bottle that would make this whole thing worth it for me and if it inspires just one person to chase after a dream of theirs, even better. I think about the message I want to send my kids and I make my life and business choices based on that. I don’t want them to do things only because of a false illusion of what success is. I want them to take things on with integrity and pride… and try. Attempt. Do. I want them to get behind something because they want to or they feel strongly that it may benefit just one person, not because they feel it will create a shortcut in their lives. I want them to really think about how they want their lives to be and make choices to get closer to that lifestyle, to design their lives and then create it. A perfect life doesn’t just fall on your lap, it takes vision and work. I needed to do this in a way that was sustainable for the business, yes, but more importantly for the lifestyle we wanted.

Sometimes I only get 10 minutes in the day to push this forward. But you know what? It gets pushed forward, little by little. And my kiddos never get shafted. That is the ultimate for me. Looking back to that day in the car, when I think about the uneasiness I felt about being able to provide a safe and loving environment for my kiddos, but also, hopefully, help one woman (or man!) be happy with their hair again, it seemed like too much to take on at once. I allowed my own mistrust for myself creep in. I didn’t trust myself well enough (back then) to approach this in a way that would not only fulfill my role as a mother and a wife but also possibly offer a new approach to healthy hair care and more importantly cultivate a place for my sisters to find support for, yes, growing out their hair. It’s a frustrating process. I. have. been. there. Obviously. This, to me, is more than hair care products. It’s a stepping stone. It’s a helping hand. It’s the culmination of the years I spent researching, and experimenting to find the right mix of ingredients in the way that is not only great for hair, but great for the skin… and even the soul. True story.

This is a super long way of saying, geez this has taken a long time… but it’s been totally worth it! I hope you don’t mind. Take care, friends. Play your note loud and beautifully today, only you can play it so let the world hear it.

Xoxo

Life In Little Squares

First homework assignment: Create a “Me” paper doll. This kid is so creative. Here he is cutting up some old clothes for his paper self. It will likely have blue yarn for hair just because and who knows what else. I’m excited to see how this will turn out. ☺️ #extraordinarylife