Happy New Year friends! I know it’s been a minute since I have given a life update here. I thought it a fitting time given the start of a New Year :) I can hardly believe 2016 has already come and gone. I’m also finally getting around to sharing our family photos shot a few months ago by my amazingly talented friend Beth Wells. She always has a way of capturing my family so beautifully, even despite the foul moods of the two pipsqueaks (though, you’d probably never know it). Family photos are kind of the worst aren’t they!! Oy. But once a year, I’m dragging them all out to take a photo with me weather they like it or not. haha. It’s my motherly duty and maybe they’ll thank me one day for it. Or maybe not, but I know I’m always glad we do it, so there’s that.
2016 was definitely a full year for my family. In the beginning of the year, Sam and I both had big dreams of growing each of our businesses. Needless to say, it was a year of WORK, of giving up certain things to devote more energy to the ones we felt most passionate about. Work-wise, 99% of my time and energy went into designing and growing my brand Rylee & Cru. I gave up a majority of the freelance work that used to dominate my schedule, and while I sometimes missed working on creative projects for other people, it was really freeing to finally just say ‘no’ to (nearly) everything in order to do ONE THING really well. In years past, that has always been a struggle of mine. Saying yes to everything and feeling like I was doing a million things just “OK”, but not doing anything excellent. It’s felt really good to have that intentional focus. We also signed a lease in September for our very own office/warehouse to have the business (Rylee & Cru) run out of! This was a huge scary decision but also one I felt really confident about. After working out of my home for the last 5 years, making that work / home separation has honestly been pretty life changing. It’s made it a lot easier to leave work at work and it’s just so much healthier for everyone! Sam has grown his business at Loneflag and continues to work hard at his marketing & design agency, Other Sons. He wears a lot of hats and manages a lot of people and I’m just really proud of him for the business leader he has become. He works with the most genuine kind-hearted group of guys who have become like family to us, and we just feel so blessed by all of them and for their part in making these businesses a success. He also had the chance to help put together the new space down at Liberty Station called Moniker General. If you live in the area and haven’t made it down there, it’s a must! They are really cultivating an amazing atmosphere and community that we are really happy to be a part of. We always have people asking us how on earth we do it all with kids and honestly, we just do the best we can and sometimes it’s freaking hard and we feel like sucky parents and friends. But we know families with more kids and more “entrepreneurial pursuits” than us and they are somehow “making it work” too. And they inspire me. I’ve always thought it is better to chase your dreams and to “try” than to regret not having pursued the things you feel called to for fear it will be “too much”. So far, we’ve felt really blessed by the experience and we keep plugging along!
On a more personal note, it’s been a rough year in terms of my health. After a lot of doctors visits and testing, I found out I have an auto immune condition called POTS which mostly effects my circulation and heart, but also creates a number of other bizarre symptoms. I have a condition called Raynauds that makes me ultra sensitive to hot/cold temps and really poor circulation in my feet and hands. I also found out I have a heart that beats just a little too fast and arrhythmia, which leaves me with constant heart palpitations and dizzy spells. It’s all auto-immune related and most of the problems I’ve been experiencing are linked to one another. It’s nothing that can kill me (so they say!) but just effects my quality of life. Some weeks I feel totally normal, and other weeks symptoms flare up and it’s really hard to get through the day. So I’ve been managing that, both emotionally and physically, and my prayer for this next year is breakthrough and healing in these areas. God has healed me from other health issues in the past, and I believe this too will just be a season. I at least have hope of that.
The kids….they are our saving grace and our pride and joy. They make life so much sweeter and inspire me in so many ways. Rylee just turned 5 in August and is growing into such a little lady. She is in her second year of pre-k and will start Kindergarten in the Fall. She has a sweet sensitive spirit about her and sure knows how to love. She is independent and creative and quite the performer. She is the protective (& bossy) older sister to her unruly little bro and she takes that job very seriously! Cru just turned 2 in September and he is my wild man. He definitely gives us a run for our money but he makes up for it with that smile. He is talking up a storm now (thank goodness for finally being able to communicate!) and his world revolves around trucks and dinosaurs and wrestling! He is 100% boy but he still needs his mama’s snuggles and I hope that never changes! God has blessed our family beyond measure and I am thankful everyday for all that we have been given. I am thankful for the “down’s”, because it helps me to appreciate the “up’s”. My hope is that this next year Sam and I can devote more time into family memory-making. More intentional time with our kids, more family getaways, more time together….just the four of us.