Time…

….is something you definitely don’t have much of. I’m sure we are all aware of this, but I don’t think we all live by this. I, for one, struggle with this, constantly. I know time is money, but to be honest, I don’t really treat it like it is. Most days I just let it tick on by without realizing I will never, ever get it back.

Tonight I was reminded of this. The last couple days I have been taking slow…using them to think, plan and consider life. I have thrown my “to do’s” out the window and focused on the “let’s enjoy”. And tonight we did.

After a rare meal out at the local pizza joint, the kids, Brandon and I headed over to my parent’s house to say a quick hello before bedtime. My mom had just made a strawberry pie for her Tuesday night Bible study, and she let us have a bite. It was AMAZING. Maybe amazing enough to do a Food Friday on someday! ha. ;)

And then Gramps decided to take Jake for a ride in the ’36.

This was a big deal because we tried a couple years ago to get Jake to take a ride in that car…but it’s SUPER loud and it scared him, so he wouldn’t go near it. But apparently he’s gotten over the fear because he hopped right in, gave me the two thumbs off and went roaring off down the hill and through the mountains with Gramps.

There are no words to describe how my heart felt. 

As we stood at my parent’s kitchen window and watched them driving down the hill…way off in the distance…I thanked the Lord that we are here, to be with my parents. And that we got to enjoy this night together. Because truth be told, we have no idea how many more years we will have with my dad capable of racing off in his cars. We have no idea.

As Jake and Gramps rumbled back into the garage, Evy wanted to jump in with them and I was able to snap this picture, with my dad doing his signature “hat’s off” wave.

Time. We have no idea how much more we have. So cherish every moment of every day.

Love you all

xoxo

The Sword In The Stone

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that our family takes a yearly trip to Disneyland in December. Brandon and I have been taking these trips with my sister and her family all the way back when we were dating, and we’ve only missed one year from then on. You can see some of our recaps HERE and HERE.

Anyway, Nicole went to visit Disneyland last week and this morning we shared some of our favorite memories from Disneyland as separate families. Brandon walked in on the conversation and said that his favorite memory is taking a yearly picture with Jake at the Sword in the Stone. I quickly pulled up our first picture of it and we started laughing and choking up at the same time. WHERE HAS TIME GONE?!?!

So I thought I would share them with you… our Sword in The Stone pictures….

2007 – Jake 10 Months old

2008- Jake 23 months old

2009- Jake 2 1/2 years old

2010- Jake 3 1/2 years old

2012 {we missed 2011, bought a new house = POOR, ha}- Jake 5 1/2 years old

…and he is too tall to sit on the stone!! OMW, where has my boy gone!! We had a good laugh about doing this into Jake’s teens and adulthood. Oh what fun this will be. Stay tuned next December for the 2013 picture! :)

Do you all like to visit Disneyland? Do you have a special place you take a picture year after year?

xoxo

ADHD-isms

If you have been following our blog for long, you most likely know that Jake was diagnosed with ADHD at the beginning of this school year. If you know us personally, you probably also know that this came as no surprise to us. Brandon has ADHD, and well, quite frankly, if you have known Jake most of his life, I’m sure you would know that he had it too.

So we are definitely used to the very random, outlandish ADHD-isms that go on around our home.

For instance, there is a lot of movement over here. A LOT. There is always someone beatboxing, tapping, running, talking, jumping, singing…you name it, our house is never quite. Or still, for that matter. ha.

It is my hope that by me talking plainly about our journey with ADHD, that we can encourage some of you out there who are dealing with it too. Because the fact of the matter is…ADHDers are amazing. So so amazing. They are usually the most friendly, funny, enjoyable kids {and adults ha} out there. They are the life of the party.

So I thought it would be fun to, from time to time, give you all some funny little sayings that I hear around our house. I call them ADHD-isms. Those random comments that come up throughout the day that are HYSTERICAL…but you try so hard to not laugh because they are said in a serious context. You know the ones I mean?

Well, here’s a couple from today spoken from my little man….

Jake – “So mom…I didn’t get all my stars today”

{Jake has a modified plan that allows his daily behavioral schedule to be broken up into 4 blocks instead of one, so his goal is to get 4 stars daily}

Me- “That’s too bad, how come?”

Jake- “Well, I was being disruptive. See I just have all these things pop into my mind that I want to tell everyone and I just can’t remember them so I can’t save them to tell them at recess time, so I just shout out and tell them then. I know I should do it, but MOOOOMMMM….it’s SO HARD to not tell them!!” 

{This is all said with tons and tons of animation and hand motions, and oh my word, I about died laughing, and he giggled like crazy while telling me this. Classic ADHD}

Brandon- “So Jake, what do you have that makes you do this?”

Jake- “BHD, Dad…it’s called BHD.”

Brandon- “Oh so that’s kinda like a PhD, right?”

Jake- “Yeah, yeah, right! Same thing!” 

Yup, they are exactly the same thing for sure! ;)

xoxo

What I Love The Most

 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

Matthew 6 is one of my favorite Bible passages. It is one of the passages of Scriptures I have read over, and over, and over…and over again. I am really, really bad at memorizing Scripture {like HORRIBLE at it}, but even with my horrible memory, I have read this passage so much that many portions I can quote by heart. But you know what’s crazy? Even with my love for the passage, there are times in life when I read it and it feels like I have never seen it before. Has that ever happened to you?

Last week, during our Young Mother’s Bible Study, we talked about Matthew 6, especially verses 29-21. And I got SO CONVICTED. We are using a small group Bible study found {HERE} and the lesson we were studying was called “Overwhelmed”.

OH WOW…that describes me.

You see, the last several months have been tough. I know I’ve touched on some of the frustrations several times on this blog, so this isn’t new news to you all. I have spent many days, nights and any spare moments in between “spinning” the wheels in my brain over things happening in my life. And I have been so busy working, planning, stressing, working some more….that I have to be honest and say I have been very, very overwhelmed. To the point that all I do is sit in front of my computer and work. SO NOT GOOD.

Anyway, this Bible study convicted me. And made me think.

So many exciting are in store for Evy’s Tree, and hopefully for our family as well. But sometimes exciting can also be translated as SCARY. I’m sure if you’ve ever done anything outside of your box you know what I mean. ;) However, I’m choosing to say EXCITING instead of the latter. This summer our manufactured items will arrive and I have quite a bit to do to prepare for them. There is a long, long list of things I need to do to properly sell those items.

However, I DO NOT want my long list to overshadow what I feel is the most important thing in my life…these guys:

These are the people that God placed in my life to love and nurture…to care for and to encourage. And it doesn’t matter if I make a million dollars {or lose a million for that matter, ha}…if these guys are not taken care of, then I fail. Big time. Because where my treasure is, that’s where my heart is…and I want to make sure my treasure is in the right place, you know?

So what’s the point?

I am committing to put the things that matter the most first and foremost the next couple months. This is going to be a tough balance for me since I really do have quite a long to do list before those manufactured items get here, which means there are some things I am going to have to let go. Every mom knows this is a tough balance. Letting things go sometimes means you may loose some things in the process. But more than anything, I want to do what God has called me to do…and my first calling is this family. I am sure you feel the same way. So, to me, letting some things go is paramount.

I just want to encourage all of you out there, if you are in the same spot as me…feeling overwhelmed and feeling like things are flying out of control…I want to encourage you to define what you love the most, and make sure it lines up with what God purpose is for you. And then join me in cutting some things out that may not line up with HIS plan for you. Because remember….where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Is your heart in the right place?

I want to make sure mine is. Big hugs friends. xoxo

Fear

What a Monday yesterday was, yes friends? Days like this really make you want to curl up inside of your bed and never leave the house. Ever. My stomach is turning, and it didn’t help that when I went to the news page to read about the bombing, a banner thrown across the top of the page announced that an Earthquake has reported in Iran and Pakistan. I know this sounds crazy, but this especially makes me nervous since our house is located right on top of a fault…we do live in Earthquake country, after all. And let’s not even mention the feelings spawned by the bombing. It literally feels as if I can never leave my house as no place in this world is safe any more.

Last week, before Brandon and I left for a long weekend out of town, I wrote a blog post. It was entitled Fear. After writing it, I decided to wait to post it. Not sure why, but I just didn’t feel to hit that “publish” button. But this morning, when I woke up, I knew it was time to share it with you. I went ahead and edited some of it, but the majority of it is what I wrote last week. So, with knots in my stomach this morning, thanks to the bombings, the earthquake, and worry keeping me up at night over money, health issues, family members and other stressors….I want to give you what my thoughts were last week…with hopes that maybe it will encourage you, but most of all, with hopes it will remind me WHO is in charge and WHAT I should do with my fear.

My blog from last week:

I’m going to tell you a little story. One that I’m actually not very proud of, unfortunately.  Yet regardless, it’s a part of my life and who I am and I think it’s time to be talk about it.

I struggle with fear.

Let me explain… as a kid, I struggled so much with anxiety, especially separation anxiety. I’m speaking of the kind of fear that paralyzed you and wouldn’t allow you to speak, made you instantly nauseous, and made your mind think of all sorts of terrifying things. If you knew me as a young little girl you’re probably nodding your head right now. {ha} I never spent the night over at friend’s houses, hated scary rides at amusement parks, and movies that may have a ounce of intensity terrified me. I never wanted to leave my mom. EVER. She was my lifeline and made me feel safe all.the.time. I remember my parents liked to fly down to Mexico for week long vacations once or twice a year and I have vivid memories of me running after their car when they would drive out of the driveway. My poor parents!! hah. Now it just makes me laugh, but believe me when I say, as a kid it was no laughing matter.

 Thankfully, my mom was very clued into my feelings, God bless her. I’m not sure what triggered my anxiety as a kid. We moved a lot, so maybe that had something to do with it. To be honest, I was very blessed and had so much but….

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU HAVE OR HOW BLESSED YOU ARE. FEAR AND ANXIETY CAN ATTACK ANYONE!!

In fact, it seems, from my short experiences with anxious people, that often it’s those who have an abundance that struggle the most with anxiety. At any case, I really believe that with all my heart, fear can hit you at any time, stage or moment in your life. Regardless of how blessed you may be.

As I became a teenager, things seemed to calm down a little for me in the fear department. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggled, but I started to learn techniques to combat those moments of sheer terror. I learned to breathe, focus, call on the name of Jesus…all of these things worked and helped me move farther and farther away from a pattern of anxiety. Today, I rarely struggle with those paralyzing moments…and when they do hit me, I usually take some deep breaths, focus on what’s around me and remember that HE HAS IT ALL UNDER CONTROL. That’s the key, I think.

 I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about fear lately. You see, there have been some things recently, that I touched on here, that have caused me to stay up at nights with anxiety. Thankfully it’s not the kind of paralyzing anxiety that I struggled with as a kid, but this kind of anxiety leaves me talking to the Lord a lot. Asking Him “why” and “how” and “what” of about certain things in life. And I’m going to be honest, sometimes I get angry. Because it’s not easy to look down at the full picture and see God’s plan. It’s not. There’s a balance to it, you know. You have to somehow find a way to look through things that might shake you and see the good….see the GOD in it. See HIS plan, not YOURS.

See, sometimes, when you follow HIM…the path isn’t always very clear. And just when you, so full of faith, hop on that path He may have for you, suddenly the path may seem very cloudy {especially when you look around you and it seems the world is falling apart}. And you look back at the other paths you could have taken and they look so sunny, and you suddenly wonder…WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?! …is any of this making any sense to you?

So I’ve been fighting. I’ve been fighting the anxiety with faith. With thankfulness. With peeling back the fog on my path and forcing my eyes to see the sun. Because it’s THERE. It really is. We walk these roads by faith. But I’m going to be honest, it’s not easy. If these roads were meant to be easy, then more than likely it wouldn’t be called a road of faith.

 I’m not sure how it happened, but two weeks ago I stumbled across Proverbs 31 online devotional journey with Melissa Taylor and I realized I still had time to join before it started. The book they were studying was The Stressed-Less Living. Ok, sounded good right? I hopped over to her blog and read the scripture that went with the first week….

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NLT

 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. As I continued to read it, I realized that all the fear and all the anxiety of late was just God’s way of reminding me that I have forgotten… HE IS HERE. He is taking care of it, and all I have to do is hand it over to Him.

Please remember friends. God is with you. I promise, He is. I know sometimes it’s so hard to see it. Do your best to believe that beyond the cloudy, dark and scary nights, there is a sun that is breaking through, ready to shine.

Praying for Boston. Continually.

I love you all!

xoxo

Make Your Own {Shabby Chic} Puppet Theater

So this past weekend I decided to take a little break from work. I turned off my computer on Friday morning, and tried to stay away for most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. My mom came over on Friday night and watched the kids so Brandon and I could have a date night. It was so nice to be alone, without kids, no Evy’s Tree going on in the background. It was Heavenly, in fact.

On Saturday morning, I finished all the laundry and folded everything. I know this sounds crazy to most people, but I love doing laundry. At first it’s very overwhelming to look at the piles and piles of laundry needed to be folded, but usually It means I can’t focus on anything else but folding, and it’s a good break for my mind. I love the feeling of all the laundry for the week being folded and tucked away in our drawers and that we can get dressed without having to dig through a laundry basket. SO NICE.

Anyway during my laundry folding, something happened that happens most Saturday morning. Little elves {ahem, my kiddos} start moving all my chairs to the doorway between our family room and our hallway to set up for a puppet show. Blankets start coming out…pretty much things get torn apart. I endure this most weekends, but I think, since I was on such an organization kick, I had enough of it….

THAT mess above was minor compared to what it became about 20 mins after I snapped this picture. Leaving your kids to create their own puppet theater is NOT a smart idea, trust me on this one. I had been eyeing this puppet theater {HERE}, but I would need two of them to fit in my opening, which meant that was one pricey puppet theater. ugh. So I decided a long time ago that someday I would make one for ourselves. I guess this weekend was the day. :)

 I hopped in the car and with a $40 budget, ran to Joann’s {I spent a total of $34.95 thanks to coupons! Score!}. Later that evening we had this….Yes, I pretty much love it. And the kids ADORED it. They were so excited to finally be able to act out their antics. It was super easy to make and although it is a bit more on the time consuming side….most beginning seamstresses would be able to whip this up with no trouble.

*** Side note: I did use a serger. This is definitely not necessary, but really saves a lot of time. If you are going to try this project, however, please be aware that you do NOT need one. :)

Material list

Home decor fabric- this is a thicker blend of fabric, almost like canvas. There is a home decor fabric section in most fabric stores. We’ll discuss width and amount needed shortly.

Cotton print fabric- I bought Joann’s brand white polka dot on a green background. Amount needed varies according to your space.

Upholstery cording- This is to hang the theater up. You could probably use rope or any other kind of tie, but this is what I had on hand and it seemed to work really well.

Ribbon- I used about 1 yard to tie back the curtains

Fabric Scraps- This is for the bunting. I used some left over bags that the Simply Shabby Chic sheet sets come in, as well as the print from the curtains.

Step 1- Measure your door frame and figure out how much fabric you need. Add 2- 3 inches to the width and 6-7 inches to the height.

** Example: My door frame was 80″ high by 67″ wide. So I need a total fabric of 87″ high by 70″ wide. 

Once you know your measurements, then you can figure out how many yards you need. I picked a this fabric, which was 45″ wide, which meant I would need to have a seam down the middle to make the width equal 70″, and I had a remnant of 10 inches leftover on each of the sides. I needed a total of 87″, which is not quite 2.5 yards, and since I needed double the width, I would need to get 5 yards.

ugh, does this make sense?!? This is the most confusing part, sorry!

ANYWAY……

Step 2- Once you have the fabric, cut your fabric down to the size you need, if you need to do so…..

Step 3- Serge all the edges, except for the middle edges that will combine, if you have to combine two pieces.

**If you are just using a sewing machine, just do a simple hem on all sides and skip this step and step 4 and 5.

Step 4- Serge the middle seam together, if you have two piecesStep 5- Fold the edge over and create a simple seam with a straight stitch.Step 6- Once you have your seams done, fold the top of the fabric over to create a loop for the rope to hang, and sew shut with a straight stitch.

** NOTE: make the loop wide enough to get a yard stick through. Even if your rope isn’t very big, you’ll want to be able to thread it through easily enough {see more in step 7}. I made my loop 2.5 inches or so wide, which is why I added about 7 inches to the length of my fabric. Step 7- Take the rope you will use {in my case the upholstery cording}….
… double it up, and then and tie it to the end of a yard stick or something you can thread through the top loop. I doubled the cording for two reasons: to make the theater a little stronger and to make it easier to tie around the nails in the wall.Step 7- Using the end of the yard stick that DOES NOT have the cording tied to it, thread the yard stick through the loop and pull it out until the cording is through the other side.…..and tie a knot at the end.
Step 8- cut off the excess and using tape, wrap the edges and trim so they don’t fray.Step 9- Straighten the top loop so the fabric is tight over the entire amount of rope and then sew shut. I did this prevent the puppet theater from sliding around on the cording and breaking it. Just a security measure, you most definitely don’t have do this.Step 10- Hang your curtain up and make sure it fits. And then decide where you want the opening for the puppets to be. I had my kids sit down on a chair and hold their arms up with puppets, and then pinned in the center and the width, as well as the top and the bottom.Step 10- Fold your fabric in half, so you can get an even cut, and then cut out the width and height for the opening. DON’T throw out the waste from the opening. You will use that next.

Step 10- Seam all the inside edges. I used my serger and straight stitch once again, but you can seam how you like. Step 11- Taking your remnant from the inside of the main fabric, lay that down on your curtain fabric folded down the middle and cut two pieces the same as the opening. This will make your two curtains. Since you are going to ruffle this, you want at least twice the width so you can have a nice gather, so that is why you cut out TWO pieces the same length as the opening, once you ruffle the fabric you will have the same width as the opening when you put them together.

 I hope that makes sense…. :(
Step 12- Seam the curtain fabric.Step 13- Ruffle. I put my machine on the highest tension, which is a 9 for my machine….And the widest stitch length, which is a 6. At these settings, the fabric will ruffle automatically. You might have to play with it. You may have to ruffle by hand.Step 14- Attach the curtain to the opening of the theater, and sew on with a straight stitch.Step 15- Add ribbon to each side, sorry I don’t have a picture of this. I just added it to the back of the theater opening, where I would want to tie back the curtain.Step 16- Make a bunting. I decided to use fabric scraps and make a scrap bunting. You could certainly make a regular triangular bunting like here or skip this step all together, but to be honest, this bunting is my favorite thing about the theater. ….start with scraps of fabric. I used all my Simply Shabby Chic bags that my sheets came in. Super fun! Glad I kept them around all these years!…rip them into 8 inch or so {some are going to be smaller, some larger} strips. To rip, cut a small break in the top and then grab the fabric and rip it. It will make the edges frayed like shown.

….then tie them to the leftover cording, randomly, to create a bunting the length of the theater opening. I kept a pattern, or at least tried. ha.

And then attached it on the sides and in the middle with a strong stitch.

WAHLAH…… you are done! Whew. hopefully that wasn’t too confusing! Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment. Big hugs everyone and happy puppeter-ing!

xoxo

 

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What’s Your Favorite Boutique? {Handmade Wholesale Opportunity}

Ok everyone, close your eyes, and let’s shut out all other distractions at the moment. While your eyes are closed, can you think of your favorite brick and mortar store near you? Perhaps a swanky little boutique that is super fun to shop at and everyone in your town loves and adores? You got a place in your mind? GOOD! Hold that thought….

Now here’s a little back story about Evy’s Tree:

The goal has always been to sell in boutiques. In the beginning, I was leery of selling in boutiques as our profit margins were extremely low and not good enough to make it in the wholesale market. However, after a couple years of sales under our belt, and now in the process of manufacturing our own items, we feel comfortable with selling wholesale and being able to stand behind our products. Not to mention, we feel we have perfected our wholesale prices a little and have come up with a profit margin that benefits everyone.

So are you still holding that boutique in your mind?!? 

Good, here’s what I need from you. I am in the process of hiring some sales reps, but there’s nothing better than a verbal recommendation from someone who loves our product, SO…can you do one of two things:

1. Comment on this blog post {or email us at wholesale@evystree.com} with the name of the boutique you love that you’d like to see carry Evy’s Tree. We will contact them with wholesale info.

OR

2. Take one of your hoodies {or your phone with our website on it} into the shop and tell them you’d love to see them carry our brand and give them our info.

Here’s where this gets fun. If the boutique places an order on your recommendation, then you get a $50 credit to the shop…for each store that places an order. So if you tell three stores and all three place an order, you get $150 credit. Sound fair?!?

How do you start? Take our wholesale look book into your favorite shop. Haven’t seen the look book? Take a peek!

And be sure to tell them how much you love Evy’s Tree!!

Thank you friends for being the wheels that have gotten this ship off the ground! Love you all! xoxo

Giveaway: $500 Evy’s Tree Gift Card

Ok friends. I know I’ve blogged like crazy today, but things are starting to get serious around here. REAL SERIOUS. So our manufactured things are in the works {this week the fabric went to the mill to be woven, yay!}, and we need to start promoting Evy’s Tree like gang busters because pretty soon I’m going to have a TON of items on my hands that will need good homes….I think you get the idea. ;)

Can you help us get 20,000 fans on facebook?!?

All you need to do is share the picture below and encourage your friends to like our page!

Whenever we hit 20,000 fans, we’ll do a giveaway for a $500 gift card to the shop. YES…$500!!!!!! 

Can you help? Thank you friends!!! xoxo

Meet Nicole

Well, now that I vented in today’s earlier post, I thought it would be a good time to tell you about something exciting that happened over here!! I am so pleased to announce, that after a VERY LONG TIME coming, we hired a new shipping manager over here at Evy’s Tree. Everyone, meet Nicole, here with her family….

You can also hear Nicole talk in our Meet Evy’s Tree video {HERE}. I first met Nicole over a year ago when our oldest boys were in Preschool together. She was so kind to us, we had just moved here and she invited us right away to her son’s birthday party, which was so touching! We weren’t able to go, but she was the first mom at our new school that had given me her number, and it felt so good to connect with someone and make a new friend. Over time, Nicole and I got closer and she found out about Evy’s Tree. I think it’s safe to say she LOVED it right away. Her first hoodie was a pink polka dot Brilla I had left over in inventory that had something wrong it with it.

 She wore that puppy proudly everywhere she went, even to the beach. :)

Her second favorite item is the Black Lacey Zip Up that her husband bought for her, and her third favorite item is the Diana Wrap…she looks great in all of them, and I’m so thankful that she loves Evy’s Tree as much as she does.

Anyway, about a couple months ago or so, I finally hit a point of realizing that I could not do it all. My shipping stretched out longer than I would have liked, my email returning was a NIGHTMARE, and I just couldn’t spend time doing what I needed to do thanks to very little time. Nicole kept telling me that she would help if I needed it. It sounded like a great idea but to be honest, I didn’t know if Evy’s Tree could afford someone else at this time and I thought of training someone was very overwhelming. Finally, I broke down and said Yes.

PROBABLY THE BEST DECISION I’VE MADE IN A LONG TIME!!

Nicole is amazing at organizing orders, getting things shipped out right away {I’m sure many of you have noticed it!}, and returning emails promptly and politely. I am so thankful for her help. Plus the studio is always clean thanks to her! What a God send! She also answers some facebook email and responds to questions on there from time to time as well.

If you need any help regarding an order, Nicole will be the one to help you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact her. Her email is Nicole@evystree.com.

Can you all give a big welcome to Nicole!!

oxox

Conflicted Emotions

Well, I’ve been a huge blog fail lately. So sorry friends. I still have to finish up my house goals from last year for you, which includes blogging about Jake’s room and introducing our 2013 goals. I also hired a new shipping manager, and I need to make a formal announcement and introduction about her. I have a little to do list of blogging posts to complete but to be honest, I just haven’t had the time to do them. Lately I’ve been spending my time pouring over financial numbers and monthly promotions calendars. boo. I love this blog. I really do. And when I don’t have time to do what I want to do with it, it stinks, you know?

Anyway, I want to be honest here for a second…

Side note regarding honesty: Recently a blogging conference called Blissdom was held in Texas {someday it would be way cool to attend!} and I noticed that many of the tweets and blog posts of bloggers attending the conference were centered around honesty and how important it is to have on your blog. Well, that made me feel awesome as I think you all know how honest I am on this blogio…. ha. Hooray for doing something right over here!! ;)

ANYWAY….

I just wanted to let you know where I am at at the moment. Remember this post? Well, to be honest {there’s that word again, ha}, I’m still there. Some things lately have really made me stop and say, “Ok God, what’s going on here?” More honesty: I’ve gotten really angry a time or two this past couple of months. Angry at God {Lord, forgive me}, at my family, at life…but most of all AT MYSELF. Ever been there? I’m not the proudest of these feelings, but there it is.

The above picture was taken yesterday, as I was on my way to discuss Evy’s Tree’s monthly budget with my financial advisors. Yes, I have a group of people who I ask to review my budget and help me “trim the fat” so I can make Evy’s Tree successful. Some of them are local, some are out of town, but I usually call or touch base with all of them monthly, some weekly.

Let me say this, if you have a home business, find smart people around you who can help guide you financially, because balancing a budget and turning a profit is NOT EASY. That’s a freebie for you. ha. 

ANYWAY…so as I was getting dressed to leave I pulled on whatever random thing I could find {because you know, thats how I roll…no planned outfits over here, unfortunately} and as I was walking out the door, heading to this meeting regarding Evy’s Tree finances, I realized that I had pulled on one of the first Evy’s Tree hoodies I ever made. The original Brilla, to be exact. And it made me think. About where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. And about where we are going. And hopefully how far we will get.

Here’s the thing…I have my doubts. Conflicted emotions to be exact. I’m not sure about a lot of things in life, and one of them is Evy’s Tree. Don’t let that scare you. Some of my biggest and best decisions in life were things I wasn’t sure about, so usually that means {at least for me} that I’m on the right track. Usually it means I stepped out on faith and doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Stepping out on faith is uncertain, you know. But regardless, I have to say that I do feel most of the time that I am walking a tightrope and balancing Evy’s Tree in my hands as I walk between high rises like the man does in this documentary. All the while believing with all my heart that the Lord is holding His hands under me to keep me safe. Ever been there? If so, then you know that sometimes that tight rope act gets exhausting. Like I wonder if anyone is still out there, exhausting. Does Evy’s Tree still really mean something to everyone, or is it just me? Am I wasting my time trying to sell these things??

Or here’s a real worry of mine: maybe I’m supposed to just be a Pastor’s wife, not a business woman. Believe it or not, I feel a lot of guilt over that one. Crazy I know. But I look at some of you beautiful pastor’s wives and think, why can’t I be like that?!? Maybe I’m supposed to be just throwing myself into a ministry of some kind, not focusing so much on a business. If I didn’t have Evy’s Tree, I’d be able to focus on ministry with my husband a bit more, travel with him sometimes, do what other pastor’s wives do so well, whatever that may be.

But in the end, my sales {and my gut} always prove that this is worth forging ahead. In the end, I remember why I am doing this: for my family, for my kids and for our future. I realize that business may be my calling…especially when I get emails from you all telling me how much you love our products, or when I see the expression of excitement on your faces when you try a hoodie on for the first time and see how cute it is on…. Or when my husband is speaking at some of your churches and you sweet ladies approach him, with tears in your eyes and tell him how much this blog/business is a ministry to you. These are all things that make me realize…I need to keep going. It is worth it. 

I guess my point in this post follows a theme I have been screaming from the roof tops for many years now: DON’T GIVE UP. Even when you want to. Because the reality is WE HAVE SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR, even during those uncertain times. And truthfully, I think at some point, things break. Even if it’s just for a moment, and God allows you to see the sun through the clouds. Maybe things don’t always work out as you planned, but at some point you will be able to lift your head and say, I see what the Apostle Paul meant when he penned, “And we know all things work together for good who love God and who are called according to his purpose.” {Romans 8:28}. Or when Matthew wrote, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.” {Matthew 6:33}.

Are you going through an uncertain time? Keep on keeping on friends. We’re going to make it. All of us. Despite our conflicting emotions about things in life. :) Love you all!

xoxo