Posts tagged life
Pass the Pie.

I am a self proclaimed “Pie Enthusiast”, so Thanksgiving it where it’s AT for me. Every year I bake no less than five — yep, you read that right, five — pies. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the savory dishes too, but pie is the thing I anticipate the most, and part of the glory of making so many pies is that there are always leftovers. And leftover pie for breakfast is my jam.

Like most holidays, it is important to take a moment to look past the table full of delicious food and consumer gimmicks to get at the heart of it all. What are you thankful for? How do you show your thanks? How do you share your bounty with others? I recapped some of my thoughts on this in my last post, but this year, I really do feel the warmth of thankfulness.

As we move in to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I am taking a moment to make a list of all of the things I want to savor this year. Ways to soak in the holiday spirit, give back to my community, and be more thoughtful in my gift giving. I’ve created a festive template to write down all of my holiday wishes, and I am sharing it here with you as a free download.

 
IMG_5018.JPG
 

I encourage us all to enjoy the season and pay attention to all of the little moments that make it so magical. A big goal of mine this year is to find more ways to share that magic with those who don’t have the financial means to do so on their own. If you have any favorite charities, recommendations for ways to give back to the local community, or any other ideas I would love for you to share them in the comments. If you can’t give financially, your time is one of the most valuable things you can give, so please share ideas for ways you can donate your time as well.

I hope you enjoy this template and it inspires you to make the most of the holiday season!

Here are some of the things that will be making an appearance on my list:

  • Go for a walk as a family to look at Christmas lights

  • Donate toys, clothes, or food to a local charity

  • Volunteer at a local shelter

  • Watch your favorite holiday movies (some of ours are “Elf”, “The Holiday”, and “White Christmas”)

  • Do something nice for a stranger

  • Shop from small businesses (this is my go to book for children!)

  • Decorate sugar cookies

  • Bake my mom’s Apricot Braid (a holiday tradition!)

  • Enjoy a hot cocoa date with a friend

  • Spend as much time as I can with friends and family

  • Listen to my favorite holiday albums (even if they are still N*Sync and Celine Dion’s).

  • Get matching pajamas (because my pup Brady in pjs would just be too cute).

P.S. Our Goldendoodle who we love to the moon and back makes a little appearance on the template. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add some reindeer antlers to his fluffy head! Click the link below to download yours!

 
Holiday List.jpg
 
On Failure, Rejection, and Showing Up for Each Other
 
Photography by  Lauryn Kay Photography

Photography by Lauryn Kay Photography

 

Our society has gotten really good at glamorizing everything — from what we are eating for dinner, to the clothes we wear, and everything in between. And thankfully there is a growing discussion around social media and how much it encapsulates only the highlight real. It can be challenging to not fall into the dangers of comparing your lives to these high moments captured, filtered, and uploaded to the internet. I think the same thing could be said when looking at entrepreneurs and those who are running their own businesses. I think we all can acknowledge that entrepreneurs are hustling day to day, working so hard to bring their visions and dreams to fruition. But beyond the long days, and even beyond the rewarding elements of working for yourself, it can be tough on your soul.

One thing my art education taught me is that if you want to pursue this arena as a career, you better get ready for rejection. Every artist or creative person I know can attest to the fact that you hear a lot of “no” compared to “yes” in this industry. You have to be able to dust yourself off and get back up and keep trying. Again, and again, and again. I know this, I have lived this (for years!) and have even experienced the grueling process of group critiques on more occasions than I could tell you. But I think it should be acknowledged that—well, to be blunt—it can really suck.

I know the key is to let the rejection fuel your fire, and for every opportunity you don’t make the cut for, you should apply to 10 more right then and there (and give yourself a high five for pushing through it!). But I also think we have to acknowledge this very real part of the process, shed light on it and encourage each other through the hard times. Most people I know are only sharing their successes (which, I know, it makes sense!) but it helps to hear that someone else tried and failed too. And that they kept going, and their successes started to outweigh their failures.

I say all of this because when I first took this giant leap to pursue my artistic endeavors and business full time, I was met with a lot of really great successes. I had custom orders and projects lined up, I had been selected for my first big public project, and I was meeting a ton of new people in my industry and making those connections! It was like the universe was cheering me on! You can do it! And then, inevitably, I got a pile of rejections all back to back. A design I created didn’t get selected, my work wasn’t accepted into a show I was excited about, and my queue started to dry up. I don’t share this for any sympathy, but in an attempt at honesty and compassion. I have since applied for five more projects and continue to create new, more challenging work, but I am also a human and my soul is feeling tender right now.

 
Photography by  Lauryn Kay Photography

Photography by Lauryn Kay Photography

 

If you’ve been hearing “no” lately, my heart goes out to you. And I want us to encourage each other to keep going, to keep our eye on our goal. Don’t be afraid of failure or mistakes, and don’t be afraid to share them. It may help someone else out there who is struggling, who is only seeing that highlight real and wondering how they could ever possibly compare.

I want to hear more about how someone I admire overcame their obstacles, how they were met with adversity and how they moved through it. I want to build a community where we can all show up, no matter what, instead of feeling defeated and ashamed, and wanting to hide. When I was receiving all of these rejections back to back, my initial feeling was one of embarrassment. I thought, “I can’t let all of these people see me struggle! I have something to prove!” and suffered alone. I don’t want anyone else to feel like they have to do that. In the end, I don’t owe anything to anyone but myself. I want to see my business succeed because I love what I do. And I chose the struggle so that I could build a life for myself and my family that I truly enjoy.

So let’s not be afraid to feel the disappointment and the pain of rejection. Give it it’s time and room. And then let’s learn from it, share what we have learned, and take the next step. It doesn’t have to be a leap! Just a step. You’re already way ahead of the game for even risking that failure to begin with.