What I Didn’t Expect

When I fly, I sit in the emergency exit row.  I do this for a multitude of reasons.

  1. I have super long legs and there is a LOT more space there.
  2. I actually enjoy feeling cold.  I find it relaxing and this is by far the coldest seat on a plane.
  3. I’m actually REALLY good in an emergency.

So let’s focus on 3.  If you’re going to sever your finger, or a car crashes into your house, or you get robbed, or have to execute a water evacuation on a 747, you want me in your corner.  DURING an emergency I’m extremely reliable and fairly calm.  I will lose my mind when we are safe and everything is complete.  The aftermath will hit me like a ton of bricks but by then the coast guard has plucked you out of the water and you’re already air drying your leggings somewhere.

What I didn’t expect working for myself and being the sole income provider for a family of 6 is what that pressure would feel like!  My calm and reliability sometimes has an expiration limit and in this role, it’s not allowed to expire.  We CHOSE to bring my husband home from work.  He did not love his job.  It did not make him a better person.  It did not make him happy and he was missing EVERYTHING.  All of the time.  With my business taking off, we felt confident cutting back our income and living off of LuLaRoe sales and commissions.  It was a necessary arrangement in order for us to pursue our accidental homeschooling.  (I already have a blog post in mind to tell you WHY we chose to home school, but that’s a whole different topic for another day.)

If you don’t know our backstory, we are perfectly capable of living on nothing and coming out the other side unscathed.  We’ve eaten more Ramen noodles than we care to share, and I’ve sold plasma for gas money…so we’re not fancy.  But in this new life, this life we dream about and try to create, things are slightly different and this pressure is INTENSE.  We’ve always both worked.  Always.  So even when we were poor, we were happy and we were sharing a burden evenly.  I knew if my waitress shift didn’t bring in what we needed we would survive until Lewis’s next check.  And he knew when his check ran out, I would be headed to the restaurant to work a double and pick up extra shifts so we could buy food.

We have moved far beyond this financially and far beyond our wildest expectations just 2 short years ago, but I have to admit, every single month I get concerned that the 747 is making a water landing and I am somehow going to screw it up.  The pilot is screaming at me in my head and I’m like WHAT THE HECK DID WE DO?  I need a new seat assignment please!  Then the plane levels out and I’m like, oh, ok it’s fine.

I now know how my husband felt when I was on maternity leave or medical leave for babies (4 times).  I know how he must have felt when he looked at his check and he wondered who the heck FICA was and why they stole all of his money.  I appreciate his calm under pressure more.  I appreciate how hard he worked for us.

What I love about this business is that my answer is easy.  I sell more skirts.  I work a little harder.  I AM good under pressure. And I’m scrappy.  Tell me I can’t do something and I will do it just to spite you.

As women, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves at home I think.  And we feel like we’re failing…a lot.  I’ve heard it said that wives are the dream weavers.  We teach our husbands and our children how to dream.  So when silly things like facts get in the way and you’re trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and they snap in your hand, you kind of want to take The Crying Game shower.

Having a family business is not easy.  But it is beyond rewarding.  So it’s worth the pressure.  The pressure is not stronger than the gift of time together that it has given us.  I will live off of eggs from our chickens every single day if it means my kids are happy and we are cleaning that chicken coop together.

-Mary

 

PS I know this was a little heavy for a second blog post…but it was on my mind.  And I’ve learned nothing if I haven’t learned that so many people feel like I do at different times and just need someone to say it out loud.DSCN1494

We Have Barnes & Boutiques

Choices.  Every choice we make changes the course of our lives.  Just over 1 year ago, I told my husband I would never move north of Hall Rd, which for me was the end of convenience and civilization and everything I thought I wanted.  Why would anyone want to live so far away from stores, and museums, and the happenings?  Then he showed me a garage…  A garage that could house an entire boutique full of clothing and fitting rooms.  A space just for me with no kids, no pets, no scary basement lighting; and I was sold.  This garage was about 10 miles north of the magical barrier I had put on our housing search and it was attached to a house built before William McKinley took office (if you don’t want to google that, it was 1897).  Somehow, this family of mine sold me on a dream. A life that I didn’t know I wanted.

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Who are we?

I’m Mary.  I recently turned 29 for the 6th time.  I am a retailer and coach for LuLaRoe.  I have an uncanny ability to make rash decisions and keep my family on their toes.

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This is Lewis.  Lewis asked me to marry him in 2005 and I said, “Are you sure?”  And he seemed kind of sure so we got married.

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These are our children:

DSCN1545 (2)Renna is an 8 year old who is so sensitive I swear to God above she cannot possibly be mine 😉  She loves with her whole heart and she will take care of us all someday while simultaneously fighting for justice.

Sam is my animal guy.  He’s kind of shy and sweet, unless you are his sibling.  He gets overwhelmed by the noise and hustle of the world sometimes.  He just turned 7 (for the first time), and if he could choose a place to live it would be the Detroit Zoo.

Elliott & Lorelei are the twins.  And I feel bad even making them share a text section, but that’s what happens to twins.  Twins have to share that name, The Twins.  For a long time we called them “The Babies”, until we realized they were 4 and spoke in sentences and had opinions.  We retired “the babies” and we stick to “The Twins”.  Truth be told they could not be more opposite one another.  Elliott does everything with joy and a smile.  He does awful things, stupid things, but he has not a drop of malice in his heart.  His main goal in life is to be a party everywhere he goes.  Lorelei is a little princess.  A heart string puller.  She’s cute…and she knows.

Why do we have a blog?

When we moved the kids out of the city, we promised them a “farmhouse” which in a child’s mind comes with an actual FARM.  So being the level-headed good decision maker I am, we are now accidental homesteaders, accidental homeschoolers, and living purposefully.  We wanted to share a little piece of ourselves and our journey with you.  We want to connect with people and leave a mark on the world.  We want you to laugh with us, at us, and celebrate the tiny successes, the massive failures, and this thing called life.  Lewis, Renna, possibly Sam, and myself, will be contributing authors to our family blog.  Follow us if you’re interested in fashion, homesteading, homeschooling, DIY projects, and adventures!

See you again soon!

-Mary