After a few years of miserably failing at my lofty New Year’s resolutions plans, I’ve decided to take a different, broader approach this year. I’ve always thought it to be really healthy to look back on your year as a whole and figure out the things you did really well and the areas you could have done a whole better in. For me, this past year I worked….A LOT! I grew my business and found a new space to work out of….two major goals I had at the start of the 2016. What I didn’t do as much as I would have hoped is travel with my family. I had intention to, but as it usually does, life got busy and nothing was planned. I’ve realized with our crazy schedules, PLANNING IS EVERYTHING. If I don’t sit down in front of a calendar and intentionally plan out specific dates of when and where I’d like to go, it usually doesn’t happen. This is definitely at the top of my “get better at” list! I hope to take a few trips together as a family, just the four of us this year. Rylee just turned 5 and now is the time she is really making memories that will last her a lifetime. I want to be able to create some awesome memories with her of trips we take together. I don’t have those places mapped out in my mind yet, but…I’m working on it! Palm Springs is always a favorite getaway of ours, so I am thinking to head there sometime in the Spring. And then maybe a trip to the snow somewhere in the winter. And then a one on one trip with Sam is a must as well!
I can always count on traveling a few times out of the year for work. My big Paris trip is at the end of the month (can’t complain about having to travel to Paris for work right?)! I went for the first time last year in the summer but this will be my first time going during winter! I just got the new Fossil Hybrid Watch and it is for sure coming with me! It has so many features that make traveling that much easier. Like its multiple time zone feature that allows me to compare the time in Paris with the time back at home so I can figure out when to connect with Sam and the kids. It’s got an alarm clock, email and social media notifications, along with a 6 month battery life, built in activity tracker, and it can even take a picture! Who knew a watch could be so smart?! Sam also got a Fossil smartwatch in black stainless steel and plans to take it on his work trips as well this year.
Needless to say, more TRAVEL is definitely a goal for 2017! Family friendly travel suggestions welcome!
This past November Sam and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. SEVEN YEARS! Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe it’s been that long and sometimes it feels like an eternity that we’ve walked side by side. It’s so mushy but it’s true that I love him more today than I did when we exchanged vows on that perfect day 7 years ago. We often joke that we are officially that old married couple who’d rather “Netflix and chill” than go out on the town at night. But I’m honestly not at all ashamed of that. I love being home. One of the things I’ve been working on is trying to get to bed earlier. I have always been a night owl, for as long as I can remember. I’ve always felt my best creative ideas take form in the wee hours of the night, but with two kids and a busy schedule, that lifestyle leaves me running on far too little sleep. The older I get, the more I realize the importance of a good night’s sleep. I wish I would have caught on to this when I was younger but….c’est la vie. They definitely don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing! My 32 year old self is just now catching on. I usually like to “wind down” in some way with Sam after the kids go to bed at night. Either watch a show together or read a book or a magazine. Sometimes I like a warm cup of tea or cider before bed, I’m not sure why, there’s just something about it that’s relaxing to me. I try not to have any caffeine after 7pm because caffeine has always been something that affects my sleep. One new thing I am going to try going into this year is to going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day. I want to try to stick to a schedule (as much as I can anyway) to help set my body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of sleep I am getting. The sleep tracker feature on my Fossil Smartwatch helps me to stay on track with this goal. It let’s me know how many hours I am sleeping each night and has an alarm option that I can set to remind me when to go to bed and when to wake up. Combine that with it’s built in Fitness Tracker and I should be set up to feel my best ever this year J Wish me luck!
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.
If there’s one thing I want Rylee to know is that she is beautiful and so very loved. I grew up with amazing parents who loved me well and told me I was beautiful and always reminded me of my worth….and yet, I still remember struggling with self confidence. There was so many things I felt were imperfect about appearance….my nose, my hips, my hair, my flat chest. I was pretty good at picking out my flaws and telling myself that I just wasn’t good enough and that no, I was not beautiful. I fed into those lies in my head and I let it affect who I was. Oh to go back in time again and know the things I know now. I believe that we are all created with purpose. We all come in different shapes and sizes and colors and that is what makes us beautiful and unique. Being a mom to a little girl scares me sometimes. As women, we are so often held to an unrealistic standard of beauty and I want so much to protect her from that, but I know I can’t. But as her mother, I know what I can do is love her (and tell her so), encourage her in her passions, acknowledge her strengths, and remind her that “even as a girl” she can be anything she wants to be if she works hard and believe’s in herself. And hopefully, HOPEFULLY, she grows up to see herself the way I see her!
I love the message that Dove’s #LoveYourHair campaign is spreading. Dove Hair believes a positive role model can greatly impact a girl’s confidence. In fact, a recent Dove study found that 82% of girls learn to care about themselves from their mother. Rylee is at an age now where she looks up to me in almost every way. She wants to be just like me, and while I selfishly really love that, it also holds a certain weight, knowing my words and actions are being soaked up like a sponge. Teaching her to love herself, starts with me.
Join Dove’s mission and inspire a young girl in your life to love her hair. Create and share your custom animated message by visiting LoveYourHair.Dove.com!
If there is one thing I don’t mind investing in, it’s a good pair of boots. Boots have always been my go to in the Fall / Winter season and with the amount of wear I know they will get, I know it’s worth getting something of quality, which is one of the many reasons I love Peter Nappi. Designed in Nashville and handmade in Tuscany, Peter Nappi premium leather footwear and goods are a distinctive blend of Italian heritage and American personality. They are made with the highest quality leather and are designed to be loved and lived in, wearing beautifully with time an age. I am wearing my favorite style from the collection – the Corina Bootie in cuoio. So excited to break these in this winter (and many winters to come!)
Peter Nappi has generously offered 30% off site wide by using code KM30. If you are in the market for a pair of boots that will last, look no further. Browse the entire women’s collection HERE.
I believe in giving credit where credit is due. If you see any photos here without correct sources, please let me know and I will happily correct it. Likewise, if you wish to use any of my photos, I'd appreciate it if you properly credited back to my original post.