Without making this intro too cliche, I definitely won’t say things like “wow, this year flew by” and “my 2023 resolutions”. But…I do want to commemorate the year we had on this little blog, especially since I published a total of *two * (TWO) posts in 2022. My first official year of not making money online was amazing and such a needed pressure to release, so I think my creative juices have been rather dry (or just coffee-shop flavored) since not needing to crank out content to pay the bills. That said, I really do hope to create more — just for fun — both in this space and on social media, simply because I miss writing and sharing it with people. We will see how it pans out ;)
If you’re a longtime reader, friend, family member or just popping by — you’re a part of this journey and I’m so grateful for you. Let me know in a comment or an email what sort of content would be fun/helpful for 2023 and I hope you’ll be reading a lot more of it soon.
Cheers to another soft and intentional beginning.
I turned 29 this year. And 2023, I think, was the first year I’ve given myself permission to just “be” — without needing to put labels on where I’m at with any of it. I let a lot of things go, but I also made some very big, very empowering decisions for myself, my spirituality, my body, and my relationship to myself.
I’ve been semi-vocal about my deconstruction from Christianity, or at least the parts of Evangelicalism that I find hugely harmful and toxic…even being able to talk about this and admit it to myself was a huge thing for me. I could go on and on (and maybe I will) but for now, knowing that it’s okay to admit that I (and the churches I was raised in) don’t have all the answers is good enough for me.
With that same mindset of deconstruction came a freedom to consider things I never would have given a second thought before. I felt more at home in my body and allowed myself to make choices, wear clothes, and exist inside my skin in ways I wouldn’t have before. In July — after a three year stint nursing Aria and breastfeeding for more than half of my 20’s — I got breast enhancement surgery (yes, a boob job, essentially) which was something I had wanted to do for myself for years but never gave myself permission to explore (too shallow, too expensive, too self-absorbed…I can talk myself out of just about anything). Six months later, it’s been one of my favorite things I’ve ever done for myself and has helped me “embody” my own body beyond my role as a mother. Wow, I never thought I’d write about that online.
After a luke-warm stint at a small private school (the one I graduated high school from, oddly enough) AJ and I pulled the girls out in early 2021 and decided to homeschool officially. In 2022, I fell in love with the term “unschooling” — which more or less means child-based learning and a letting go of traditional curriculum, worksheets, and classroom learning. I loved it. I was able to spend my days creating adventures with my girls, learning math in the kitchen, working at the shops with them and letting see entrepreneurship in real life, and spent the first few months reading through some of my childhood favorite books with them. It was magical, truly, and now that we’ve closed that chapter, I’m so grateful that it happened, if only for the sweet memories with my girls.
I hit a wall a few months in. Balancing two coffee shops and a full team of employees while trying to dedicate enough energy to teach the girls the things they needed to learn was too much. I cried on the day I called the elementary school registrar because I felt like such a failure not being able to continue something that I believed to be so so beneficial. They started public school the next week and, of course, jumped right in and haven’t looked back since. I’m still adjusting to whatever guilt I feel (needlessly, of course) but do love the space I have to work at the shops and — wait for it — keep the house clean, while they’re gone. Each year of school, and my motherhood, is a blank slate and we will see what happens as these chapters unfold - we’re committed to doing whatever works best for us in any given week/month/year.
The coffee shops are my creative outlets, my newborn babies, my safe spaces…they’re they’re also really fucking scary sometimes. Business ownership has unlocked fears I never knew existed and a weight that isn’t always easy to carry. We opened a new shop in the first 10 days of 2022 — a space that, like all of our growth so far, fell into our laps. It’s open, and bright, and airy, and beautiful. I love that my shops have become gathering points in our community and I take that job so seriously.
We live in a very seasonal, tourist driven area and a much smaller year-round, local population. There were a few months this year that I weren’t sure we’d make it and a few months where it was so busy I didn’t think we could keep up. I’ve learned to separate my identity from the shops, though, which is healthy. And I know that whatever 2023 brings, we will continue to have ups and downs and none of it is a reflection of me as a human. Cheers to that.
Looking forward: Embody
I haven’t chosen a word for my year in 2-ish years (again with the resisting labeling things-thing), but this one popped up on a recommended “words” for Enneagram 9’s and it just felt right. I tend to disassociate from my own body, which is why working out consistently has always been a struggle. My body slowly but surely became my own last year, and I really want to continue that into 2023. How that will look has yet to be determined.
“Goals” in no order of importance:
get more tattoos
get stronger/build muscle
create things just because I want to without worrying about how it performs
go to Italy (or anywhere?) for our 10 year anniversary
renew our vows with the girls present
take more coffee and wine courses just for fun
expand Simple Coffee Co. in whatever ways present themselves & rebrand with an actual professional
weekly date nights, no matter how low-key
Thanks for being here, friends. Share some of your goals or thoughts with me in the comments (it helps my blogging mojo, promise).
To another year <3 <3