A Thank You & Some Reflections from 2019
If there was ever a year to take me by surprise and turn out a bit differently than I anticipated, this would be the one. When I looked back at the goals I wrote at the beginning of the year, I’m reminded of how I was feeling a little over a year ago. I was burnt out and turned off by the waste and consumerism perpetuated by this industry. I felt a strong pull to switch gears and align my personal values more closely with my business. It was a bit scary at the time, not knowing what my path forward would look like, and if I could even make it work with this new approach. I am still very much a work in progress, but as I reflect on the past year I am both proud and humbled by the growth of my business and the support I’ve received from all of you.
The beginning of the year started out with Craig and I making an offer on a farmhouse in Vermont. The offer was accepted and the whole thing moved very quickly, a bit too quickly. We ultimately ended up walking away after inspections because it was too much of an undertaking for us. I am SO relieved it didn’t work out. It was disappointing at the time but looking back it was a huge blessing in disguise. It’s still a goal we’re working towards and I’ll talk more about it in the new year.
This year I made a big move towards sustainable living (from my shopping habits to the products I use and the brands I support). I also made a commitment to use 100% clean beauty products and it was hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I know I have lots of work to do on the sustainability front, and I am very much looking forward to sharing things I’ve learned and the changes we continue to make in 2020.
Of course the biggest life change (and surprise) came in June, when I found out I was pregnant. I’ve never shied away from talking about my thoughts on having kids. My feelings have always been complex, but it wasn’t something I was going to do unless I really wanted it (I talked about that here). Sometimes life throws you curveballs and I’m grateful everything turned out the way it did. That said, the whole experience can be overwhelming and I’ve pulled back a little from what I normally share as I navigate this new chapter of life. Pregnancy hasn’t been easy for me. The beginning was absolutely brutal. I’m still figuring out a healthy balance of what to share and keep private. I am for the most part an open book, but once you’re pregnant – I’m sure any of you who have been can relate- on top of already feeling vulnerable, the uncomfortable questions, unsolicited advice, inappropriate commentary, and judgements go to a whole new level.
While many aspects haven’t been easy, I am also beyond grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from so many of you. One of the hardest things this year was having to step away from work for almost three months. It was not easy, emotionally or financially. In a business that so heavily relies on always being present, available and visible, it was terrifying to practically disappear. And yet all of you were still there. Checking in on me and sending me kind words while I was gone and cheering me on when I was ready to come back. It’s hard to describe how much that meant to me, but it truly got me through some of my worst days. Thank you!
Many of you have asked about my goals for 2020 and to be honest I am still figuring that out. Normally I’m sitting down at the end of the year overflowing with ambitious goals and ideas, ready to share my plans as soon as we move into the new year. While I am excited for all the possibilities this new year brings, and I have goals and plans for the new year, I also want to figure out how to navigate work and motherhood without creating unrealistic expectations for myself. I honestly don’t know what to expect, so I will include you as I figure it all out, but it may look a little different than the way I normally do things.
If I had to pick one word to sum up my feelings as the year ends, it would be gratitude. While there were many challenges, there were just as many triumphs. I am grateful for the incredible work opportunities we had this year, for the immense support and love all of you have given, and for this next chapter of life we are about to begin. Having the opportunity to do something I’m passionate about and that gives me purpose is a gift I will never take for granted. I’m excited for what the future holds and I’m beyond thankful to have this community of women along for the ride. Thank you for teaching me, motivating me, and keeping me inspired. Cheers to a new decade.
P.S. If you haven’t yet, I’d really appreciate if you took this short (2 minute) feedback survey. It will help me as I plan for 2020 and beyond. Would love to hear your thoughts. I’m also giving away five $100 Everlane gift cards!
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Sending you all the love, Jess, as you and your little family head into 2020! Thank you for all of the amazing content, recommendations and just open-heartedness you’ve shared this year. Happy Holidays!
Give yourself some grace as you navigate motherhood. Your readers will still be here.
Love this heartfelt reflection. Appreciative of the ways you share your move into greater sustainability. Wishing you lots of luck as this new chapter unfolds for you.
I’ve always followed you Jess and when you were not posting I worried about you a lot. I met some of the very best girls on your private blog on FB and even got to go to RI last Year for a few beautiful days. I was always hoping to run into you magically by Starbucks but seeing how very crowded it was that week, I knew that was slim. When I heard you were pregnant but do sick in the beginning I felt sad because I had a bit of that but nothing like you had. We all missed you but we really became a family rooting for you to feel better and enjoy this new Blessing. I have complete faith in you and Craig as amazing parents. I can hardly wait and I guess if you let all of us send gifts, you wouldn’t be able to walk inside The Cozy Ranch. You got me through some of the very darkest days when I lost my son and I will never forget that! Merry Christmas to you and your wonderful little Family. I’m so looking forward to the newest addition. Sending love and Light your way!
My kids are already older. I had forgotten about the unsolicited advice, the comments and judgments. Unfortunately, for me, they became even more once they were born. I have a feeling that you will deal with the advice, comments, etc. appropriately. Best wishes,