Thursday, January 4, 2018

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Family + Roadtrip = FFF a.k.a. Forced Famiy Fun and we rocked it!






We have been back from our trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a few weeks now. I have to say the trip that included four days of it schlepping our four girls, plus one fabulous rental son half way across the country was a success! I am happy to report that we had an incredible time thanks to the amazing planning of our friends The Lindeman's. We have know Onttu and Nicole since we were teenagers. My husband Jeremy and Onttu were like brothers. Onttu and his mother had lovingly embraced Jeremy as an "adopted" son into their home as a young man and the two boys were inseparable. We were two young teenage couples who found themselves starting families a bit too early. With babies in tow we all graduated with diplomas and worked hard to at least attempt college while we supported ourselves. Onttu and Nicole finished college, and Jeremy went into the Navy and we became a proud military family.  Now, statistically we should have all done horribly; moved on from each other; moved on as couples; with significant drama in the midst of it. Statistically.

However, we did the opposite. Oh their was drama. Time apart. And then we all reunited! Still together; realizing that the "a little older, a little wiser" cliche had definitely become our truth. I'm so blessed to say, we made it! Hard work and determination is an understatement, but we made it Kids. Still friends. Still married couples. Praise Jesus! 

I'm so grateful to have their family in our lives after 22 years. It was incredible to realize that at our children's ages we were all four scraping by to get enough for pizza delivery and soda two-liters  while watched movies together at one of our houses. Now, we were successfully  adulting, with our families together; enjoying an amazing well deserved vacation. There were so many moments of laughter, crazy antics and a little frustration coordinating that many people. They handled our kids and us with grace and patience, love and laughter. Our Disney adventure was amazing, fun, and full of joyful touching moments. I'm so grateful to our friends, my husband, and my kiddos for just being present with me. Taking it all in, and enjoying the interaction with one another. It was priceless. A trip combined of several different little wondrous moments to hold in our hearts for a life time.

It's so true what I see quoted: "Not all who wander are lost."  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Learning while waiting? Maybe it's all in your perspective...

Today I was getting tires rotated, balanced and prepped for our Thanksgiving Holiday road trip. While in the waiting room I devoured this surprisingly diverse offering of magazines to look over. I found the always yummy craft and food delight,"Martha Stewart Living," "Better Homes and Gardens," amazing photos in "Traveler," then "Inc." I took notice of the "Inc." mag at the bottom of the pile that dawned the famous "500 List" for the year.

Prior to this stop at the tire shop I was reeling out of control on the inside full of anxious energy so forceful in my chest I felt I could have willed microwave popcorn into delicious buttery goodness... I swore I could feel myself putting off some serious voltage. A mixed bag of emotion; happy, excited, anticipation, and of course, worry. I was putting to much on my virtual plate once again, with the unrealistic expectation that I could get it all accomplished within the next 24 hours before going on a family excursion. I was going over and over a two page list of to-do's and appointments that created this tension inside me just looking at it. Why did it make me feel this way? It was just chicken scratch. No one even knew that I had these expectations for my day but me. What was the big deal? "No body's perfect Bridge." I told myself. I began to sit with this with energy and focus on it. What was my intention? It came to me that I wasn't seeking perfection. I was seeking the approval of others. I was seeking the perception of the ideal.

"What in the hell are you talking about Bridget?" Uggh... I argue on the inside with myself sometimes. Ideally, we will be leaving the house for our trip at exactly such time in the morning later this week with this list done. Ideally, I will have this list accomplished so that my children, husband, friends, even caretakers of our home and pets will see that nothing is out of place, amiss, and I have my stuffin' together! I need this list done, so my out of control anxiety, which is linked to fear of judgment can be subsided. And, not just fear of others judging me, but when I come home from said trip I do not want to have a list of what I feel are failures to be staring me in the face. This will lead me to fuss at myself or my family. I have been hustling my toosh off to get ready for this trip, but why do I do this to myself all the time!?

You see this is no ordinary trip. We are taking our family to a place that my Lils have asked to go since they were cognizant of branding. Disney. World. You know the magical wonderful world of Disney? Character, Princesses, park rides, oh my! Frankly, I am stoked! My friend Nicole and I have concocted a plan to drop the bomb at breakfast on day two of trip to our two youngest daughters, a.k.a. "The Lils." This plan of fake Christmas presents for someone else, only to have them open up a box of grab bag Disney swag we hope will have them squealing with joy. All this planning and waiting so they can have a surprise experience that "ideally," they will carry with them for the rest of their lives... Seriously, they have no idea! It will be glorious!!

However, this family vacation has more depth than it's destination. This trip is representative of where we've been, where we are, and where we go from here. This trip is made possible not just by two Mama Bear's hustle; mapping it out with her amazing abilities to snag a deal (she truly is an incredibly organized and well planned executive and world traveler). No friends, there is more to it than that. This trip is also made possible by my husband who has worked his toosh off to heal from a major depressive battle and provide for his family. He made the decision to fight for himself, his children, and his marriage. Sure he was down and out, bottom of his barrel, but he didn't stay there. This trip is made possible by supportive family members who generously let us use their points (Thank you Gilmartins) for  hotel lodging. Incredibly supportive family, who encouraged us to miss spending time honored traditions with them in order to have our own family experience. To live in the moment together. This trip is made possible by two older sisters who have been on a roller coaster with us as parents but agreed to yet another crazy road trip. Sisters who still like we parents enough to desire being in a vehicle with us and their younger siblings for, ummmm... lets say, four days total. This trip is made possible by learning that even if it is a monetary sacrifice, we have stayed the course. We waited. We saved. We sure made mistakes. However, those financial wounds can heal too when we make better decisions together... This trip is made possible by learning from my incredible mentor and grandfather that while waiting for death, and meeting it head-on, it is a humans greatest teacher for living.

As I sat waiting for the van to be finished, quietly split in two. Part of me was going over the list battling with why I seek only ideal outcomes in so many areas of life. Agonizing over why I push so hard when the reality is, the house is lived in, I drive the van like a 4 x 4 truck, we are all why we can't have nice things and our home interior doesn't look like these magazine house shoots! The other half of my brain at this point was scanning the July 2017 issue of "Inc." All of a sudden a quote from Katia Beauchamp, co-founder of the subscription based beauty company Birchbox halted my attention. It read:

"The reality of pursuing something exceptional is that it is always hard. There is no other side of hard. It's about reframing your perspective and loving the hard."

That was it. It was the answer to my internal dialogue. Why do I push so hard? Why do I seek to finish the list for the perception of the ideal? Why did we scrimp and save, toil and worry, stress and hustle, plan and daydream, comb the interweb for deals, steals, and swag? Because this trip is exceptional. Saving our marriage and our family has been hard. Every challenge, event, or occasional crisis has been hard. It has been hard and I agree with Katia, there is no other side of hard. However, I found that when I embraced the suck, loved the hard, pulled up my boot straps, did the work, loved the people through it, boo-hoo-ugly-cried, re-framed my perspective; it changed the way I saw my world. Honey, it is what pushes me to dig deeper, work harder, keep my joy, very often over extend myself, especially as an entrepreneur. Changing my perspective about the hard, is how I am going to make a simple family vacation go from a fabulous idea to an exceptional experience.

Well then... Goodbye anxiety attack... Until we meet... again.




Henry, ZoĆ«. “How Birchbox Started Making Money? Savvy Moves and a Series of Tough Decisions.” Inc.com, Inc., July 2017, www.inc.com/magazine/201707/zoe-henry/how-i-did-it-katia-beauchamp-birchbox.html.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sorry, this isn't my cat...

Launching this blog required me to choose a template. In the header of this template is/was an adorable stock photo of the sweetest brown and black tabby kitty leisurely sitting on a vintage quilt. This however, is not my cat. Although, I am a cat, dog, and well, animal enthusiast so you know there will be more cat posts my friends... Oh yes, there will be more! Mwwwhaaahahaha!...

The original blogger template photo


Now then, what I truly wanted to let you all know, is that this blog is under construction! YAY! If you have been following me since Oklahoma City, or maybe as far back as my days on Whidbey Island, WA (SHOUT OUT to my Sister in Life and the Lord Danette Boyles and her hubs Alonzo!!!) when my dear friend and I were just two gals who loved to decorate and do weddings at the church. WELCOME! Or... WELCOME BACK I should say.

I have found that working with flowers is truly my pleasure and passion. After working on my cousin Macall's wedding this Summer, I realized I needed to find a way to get back to it. (Hugs and love to Gilmartin and Davis Fam! XOXO) Previously named Sweet B. Revival, my business and focus has changed and evolved since 2012 when I embarked on my solo mission in Oklahoma. My husband Jeremy was stationed at Tinker Air Force Base and I was doing flowers in our home and loving it! Crazy, messy, and stressful, but I enjoyed it so much. After challenging health issues, changing locations, taking a break, starting a coffee roasting business with the hubs (totally a great post, but a novel, so I'll save this for later), and moving to the country; I have learned a great deal about business, and geez, let's face it, life y'all.

We have been blessed with the opportunity to live and work in a century old farmhouse on property backed by the tranquil Smoots Creek (hence the name of the biz) near the small town of Cheney, Kansas. Jeremy has an amazing opportunity using his skills he learned as a Naval Air Crewman working on aircraft in Wichita. Our oldest is now in college at KU and we have the three other Lils growing up crazy fast at home. Wowzers! How time has flown. We continue in raising the fam, loving the pets mistaking them for human kiddos (mostly me) running around like headless unorganized chickens (uhh me), and of course lots of road trips and forced family fun: DIY & CRAFTING!! We deal with day-to-day life issues like many other families. Moving forward to keep the Faith, stay financially sound, mental health struggles, physical well being, a child on the Spectrum, loving and losing precious people; all things we are experiencing and part of our life together. Just like the signs say, live, laugh, love, well we laugh, we cry, and yep, sometimes we do a little yellin'. We have stories and we make fantastic memories.  I would like to share these with others who may enjoy relating to our little nest.

I decided to "document" my business and life in blog form not for the attention, the goal of viral status, an amount of followers, or any kind of fame on the brain. I do this because if you're in my circle, I often say, "Honey, that's going in the book." Somewhere in here, since I was a little girl, there's been a book or lets say books, in my Spirit. Stories or experiences that I felt I would one day put in print. I asked myself this question, after giving advice to another creative mom in her own blogging adventures (insert shout out to http://www.sassypearlsofwisdom.com artist and blogger Amy Meyer): "Darlin' what if you never get to the book?" ...Uhhh... Sheesh, Bridge! That's a great question... What is my legacy?... What will I leave these four precious, beautiful girls with in the end but rubbermaid tubs of vases, mason jars, floral supplies and little bits of stems and leaves in crevices of the wood floors!?!... And, just like always, that still small voice inside gave me an answer that was simple. Just share the experience Bridge. Share the experience.

Follow for the flowers, but hang out for the fun.

Blessings to you and yours,

ME
XOXO

Modern Wreath Workshop January 14th!

SUPER EXCITED to be hosting my first workshop for 2018! Click on my Workshop Page Link Here  to find out more details,