Saturday, August 2, 2014

When everything is NEW

"Like faith and hope, trust cannot be self-generated. I cannot simply will myself to trust. What outrageous irony: the one thing I am responsible for throughout my life I cannot generate. The one thing I need to do I cannot do. But such is the meaning of radical dependence. What does lie within my power is paying attention to the faithfulness of Jesus. That's what I am asked to do: pay attention to Jesus throughout my journey, remembering his kindness. (Ps 103:2)." - Ruthless Trust

Change: to become different, undergo alteration. To undergo transformation or transition. To go from one phase to another, as the seasons.

Yep, that about sums up our life the past 3 months. (A brief recap for those who care to know more:)

Early-May: We finally have a move date, after 1.5 years of visiting our soon to be home Charleston and house hunting without success. This was a very big deal.

Mid-May: Still no house in sight, and at this point it felt like we had seen them all. We decided to take the 3 month temporary housing deal Lee's work offered. We thought it might be easier to find a house actually living in the city. 

Late-May: We find out we're expecting our first little baby and it's the best, most surreal moment we've ever experienced. We're thrilled but also extremely overwhelmed with literally every single area of our life changing. We also find out our move date has been moved up an entire week. Yikes!

Early-June: Lee travels to Asia for 2 weeks on work, and I fly to WA to see my family while he's gone.

Mid-June: I arrive back from WA with 10 days left until our move date. Lee follows 4 days later, giving us 1 week left in our beloved little 3rd Avenue apartment.

Late-June: We sorted through our stuff and put everything we would need the next 3 months in our dining room, and left the rest to the packers. I have never been so thankful for anything as I was for those movers/packers. They were lifesavers for this exhausted and overwhelmed expecting mama.

June 26th: We arrive at our new 'temporary home'. All our belongings were dropped off in a storage facility and we arrived with just our summer clothes, my 10 beloved house plants, and our pantry. It's nice, simple, this new place we call home. We've never seen it before this moment. It probably didn't help that we arrived at 12:30am. . . or maybe that was a good thing, for it looked nothing like the photos we saw of beautiful hardwood floors, 12 ft vaulted ceilings, 2 beautifully furnished bedrooms. The next 10 days are sort of a blur. Me, unpacking, exhausted, emotional. . . with headaches. These awful hormonal headaches had started and wouldn't stop. All day, all night, wake up with one, go to bed with one. I think by day 4 all I could do was lay on the couch while this vice grip squeezed the back of my head. My sweet husband rubbed my shoulders/neck every night during that stretch, and I will love him for it forever. Lee was adjusting to his new office and had a couple super busy work weeks right off the bat. Even Wally was exhausted, emotionally spent. If he wasn't hiding out from all the moving boxes I was unpacking, he was sleeping. He still thinks those boxes are monsters out to get him.

Change is a funny thing. When life is familiar, when you are comfortable, change sounds wonderful. Exciting. You welcome it, even hurry it. And then suddenly it's upon you. Newness. Transition. Everything different, uncomfortable, uncontrollable. And suddenly, it doesn't seem so wonderful. You feel more like going back to how things were a few weeks ago. You desperately try to find any bit of comfort that you can, any bit of home. This is especially hard to do when all our your 'home' and belongings are boxed away in storage. 

I think it was at this point that I realized how terrible I was at trusting. I used to think I was good at trusting, and maybe I was at a point. Life is comfortable. You feel in control. And you THINK you're trusting. But it isn't until everything you know is gone that you really find out where your trust lies. It's usually in myself. I'm a planner. I like to be in charge. Have a plan. Map out EVERY single detail. It's actually quite annoying (just ask my husband). But I've learned a whole lot these past 5 weeks.

Here's what I've discovered: 

1.) I hate not being in control. Like really hate it. 

2.) I'm an emotional roller coaster when I don't have a 10 month plan for my life mapped out and in writing. 

3.) Pregnancy is overwhelming, and makes you crazy. At least it feels like that some days. Ok, most days. 

4.) I cannot do this trusting thing on my own. I told my husband this the other night: I have never been more overwhelmed in every area of my life than I am right now. And I have never needed Jesus more, everyday, every moment, than I do right now. It's a painfully wonderful thing.

5.) God loves when we need him, when we're fully dependent. When we don't have a plan, and a back up plan for when that plan falls through. He loves being our plan. Even if we don't get to know all the details. It's ok. It doesn't mean His plan isn't good. His plan is ALWAYS good, even if it leaves you nervously wringing your hands together because it sure feels like he's running a bit behind schedule to you. I mean, God. . . we have 60 days before we have to be out of this apartment, and STILL have no house. Not worried? We have a baby due in January, have to be out of this apartment in 2 months, which is only 4 months before baby comes, and STILL have no house. Aren't you a little bit worried now? All our our stuff in in storage, and we haven't even started buying stuff for baby, let alone, renovating, painting, unpacking or setting up a new house. Still? Not even a tiny bit worried?

Yet another thing I've learned. He doesn't worry. Ever. He's never stressed out by our circumstances, no matter how daunting or impossible or worrisome they are to us. He is big and all of our big problems are small to him. Not small as in not important. The littlest thing that is a big deal to us, is a big deal to Him because he loves us. And He is a God of the details! But small, as in, He's already taken care of them. He knows the details of our life, and He doesn't miss a thing. Ever. Not one tiny detail. And all I have to do is pay attention to His faithfulness. When trusting is too hard, all I am asked to do is remember his kindness throughout my journey.

I've made it to my 2nd trimester and love having my energy back. I'm feeling more normal so-to-speak than I have in weeks. Life feels a little less scary and new now, and we've even made some friends. Every day I wake up, I ask God to give me His perspective. He is providing for us daily. We have shelter, food, jobs, and friends today, and I can say quite confidently, he will provide for ALL our needs tomorrow. My job is to "not worry about tomorrow" while I rest in his faithfulness today (yes, that's easier said than done).

So here's to embracing change, trusting just a little bit more today than I did yesterday, and paying attention to His faithfulness. 

Replace what you don't know about your future 
with what you do know about God.

"My child, you can trust the man who died for you. If you cannot trust him,
when whom can you trust?" -Streams in the Desert

Monday, September 9, 2013


It's NYFW and I'm dying to be there. What else is new.

One day. . . I'll not only go to fashion week, but show my very own collection. I'll dream about that for a little while longer.

Here's a look at my Monday inspiration. I hope it brightens your day!



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuck & Bonté turns 2!

Two years ago this month, I made (or should say 'we made'), one of the scariest and most exciting decisions of our lives. I quit my day job to pursue our dream, Tuck & Bonté. I didn't really have 'a plan'. I didn't even have anything figured out. I just knew it was what I had to do. I was fed up with my job. I was tired of being exhausted and drained every single day doing something I was less than crazy about, when I could be doing something I loved. So, after much thinking and much praying, we decided to take the leap of faith. Surely we could live off of one salary until I got things up and running. . . haha! It all sounds so easy now. Let's just say it's easier said than done. It's easier to dream dreams than actually do dreams. But doing them is what's it's all about. We did it, and are still doing it, and I'll never regret it.

Last year was one of the hardest years of my life. No joke. Looking back now, I see all that happened and how necessary it was to get us where we are today. But then, I wasn't seeing anything. Most days I felt crazy. Stuck. Especially when the doubts and questions started rolling in. . .

What are you doing? Why would you quit your job? You're not making any money. You don't even have a plan. Why are you making party decor? You really want to make clothing. You're probably never gonna make clothing. You never even used what you went to school for. You are never going to be successful. It's too hard. It's really just too hard. Just quite now, why don't you. 

All of those doubts, those fears, and those thoughts were so real. They were daily battles I had to fight, and still do some days. Starting a business is not for the faint of heart, BUT, it's not impossible. You have to have focus. You have to be passionate every single day about your vision. You have to take action to make that vision a reality. It's a lot of hard work. It's late hours and working on the weekends. There's a lot of plowing and planting that happens in the early stages, but it's so exciting to watch something you care so much about grow. There's nothing more life giving than to see your dream start out as a tiny baby idea, and to watch it grow, and grow, and mature.

That was last year for us. We didn't really make any money, or not very much. We didn't have a ton of sales. We didn't have many exciting opportunities or product features. We just kept creating new products, putting to life our little party ideas. We kept developing new products, planning photo shoots, and putting every bit of ourself into everything we made. As the saying goes, 'we kept on keeping on'.

That brings us to today. After 2 years, Tuck and Bonté is still in the baby stages. Our end goal is not to create party decor for weddings and events, but it's a start, and now it's our story. After so much hard work last year with not a lot of fruit to show for it, this year was a much needed encouragement. This year was different. It's like we finally started to see some fruit from all of our labor. We started to get products in magazines and featured on big blogs, the shop finally began getting consistent sales, and we had the amazing opportunity to start wholesaling with Anthropologie and The Knot. All that sounds like pure craziness when thinking back to last year, but it was just what we needed to keep on going. I know we'll have other hard seasons of change and growth for the business, but hopefully it will be followed by some of these good, fruitful seasons to always keep us moving forward.

One of my favorite things to do is read books about designers and successful business men. I love learning about the triumphs and failures that brought them to the present.  Every successful person or idea started somewhere. That should encourage someone. It does me. It means that no one just woke up one day to a booming, successful business. They woke up and worked hard every single day.

It inspires me to know that Ralph Lauren started out making ties. That's it. He made ties, that he eventually got into one store, and then another, and then another, until it grew into the huge business it is today. It's inspiring to know that Howard Schultz of Starbucks had a crazy dream to sell espresso on-the-go. People told him that NO ONE would pay $3 dollars for a cup of coffee. He was turned down so many times, but he never gave up. He never stopped believing in his idea, until eventually, other people started believing in it as well. What would life be like without his idea? What would we all do without our Starbucks? It's a crazy thought for sure. It makes me ask the question. . .What would the world do without your idea? My idea?

Anyways, sorry I got a bit long winded there. I guess I'm just completely overwhelmed by our journey and how blessed we are today. We are so excited about where we're at, but we are even more excited about what the future holds. We hope to start incorporating fashion and furniture accessories into the brand sometime in the near future. We'll definitely keep you all posted. Thank you so much for all the support, encouraging words, and most of all, for believing in us. We wouldn't be here without you.

Cheers to 2!
Tuck and Bonté

"The elevator to success is out of order. You'll have to use the stairs. One step at a time." -Unknown