Wow, I honestly can’t believe the end of the year is here!
I remember being a kid and how time seemed to move soooo slowly, and how my mom would always tell me that it would move much faster once I grew up and had a family of my own. She certainly was right—the months really do seem to fly by.
Can you relate?
The pace of life is so quick, despite my best efforts to try and slow it down!
As 2018 approaches though, I wanted to take a few minutes to walk back through the year here at Lost & Found—highlighting some of my favorites and some of the major events from the past 12 months for both my business and my family.
This was a year of change and transition for us across the board—both personally and business-wise. Some of the changes were positive, some were more difficult to manage.
That’s life though, right? It’s usually a mixed bag and I’ve learned what matters the most is how we respond to the things that come our way.
There were three big NEW things for my business this year:
1) A New Paint Line!
In March I became a retailer for Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint!
I love this paint and have wanted to retail it for some time now—it took me over 3 years though to be able to get my hands on the local territory!
Being able to represent this awesome product really was a big win for me this year, you can read more about my 3-year journey to become a retailer here.
2) A New Retail Space!
In April I expanded to a 2nd local retail location—an adorable boutique shop in downtown Plano called Lyla’s Clothing, Décor & More.
I’ve really enjoyed being a part of this shop and the group of ladies who sell here.
Meagan, the shop owner, has done a great job building an attitude of quality customer service among her team and I know my customers are well treated when they shop here.
I also have the chance now to teach regular paint workshops again since Lyla’s has a workshop area for me to use. You can see more photos of Lyla’s here.
3) A New Space at Antique Company Mall in Downtown McKinney!
After 4 years in my old space, I was offered the opportunity to move into one of the front, premier spaces in the mall—and I love it there!
The ceilings are nice and high so my space feels very open.
Customers have plenty of room to shop and browse paint and since my space is right next to the checkout, it gets a good bit more traffic. I’m so thankful for this great spot!
My Favorite Antique Furniture Find . . .
I bought this 1800’s chest of drawers back in the summer and was so tempted to keep it for myself!
It had gorgeous wood veneer detail and was originally from Germany. And no, I didn’t paint it!
My Favorite Furniture Makeover . . .
This was a little hard to pick, but I decided to go with the set of mid-century dressers.
They were different than most pieces I normally work on, so it was fun to get out my comfort zone some. I also tried out a new technique for getting a super smooth finish on these pieces, which you can read more about here.
And My Favorite New Furniture Product . . .
I had a love affair this year with Hemp Oil.
I used it to finish off my milk paint pieces and raw wood tops, revive my butcher block countertop, and even to polish up my brown leather boots!
My Best Business Investment . . .
In October I joined the Creators Roadmap online course offered by Jennifer Allwood (a paint guru and online business coach).
The course fee was the most I have ever invested in a training for my business and I was a little nervous about laying down that much money—but it was very well spent!
Going through the course re-energized my business goals and helped me get a better idea of what steps I should take to move forward. I also connected with a great group of fellow creative business owners that “get” this crazy stuff we do—the community was refreshing!
Major Personal Life Events
In the non-business side of things, this has been a year of learning patience and endurance.
In February I had spinal surgery to repair a herniated disc in my neck. As far as back surgeries go, this was about as minimally invasive as you can get (you can read more about that all here).
But it still resulted in 3 months of limited movement and use of my neck and arms—which meant limited painting and moving furniture!
10 months later I am much better—still not 100% but for the most part I have been able to resume my normal activities. I have noticed that whenever I get stressed or worried, my neck and shoulder muscles tense up and ache for a few days. I also usually hurt some after working on the computer—which is one reason why I have posted less this year!
Beginning to Run Again
Probably the biggest drawback from my surgery though has been the challenge to get back into running, which is the only exercise I truly enjoy.
Running is therapeutic for me—training for and running races is a way I help manage anxiety and depression and also gives me quiet time to be by myself and think.
Before my injury and surgery I was running half and full-length marathons—afterwards I couldn’t run even one mile. It was really hard starting back over at square one and I’ve had to relearn the patience I learned when I first started over 10 years ago.
In mid-October, I had worked up to being able to run 3 miles and I ran my first race in over 2 years—a local 5k.
My husband and kids were there to cheer me on, I’m so thankful to have them on my team!
There’s still a long way to go but I’m hoping to get back to running the longer distances by spring or summer.
A Sudden Death in the Family
The day of my 5k was actually the same day my father-in-law was admitted to the hospital after collapsing at a men’s church retreat. He had an aortic aneurysm that had ruptured and was admitted for immediate surgery.
Miraculously he survived the surgery and was recovering well until he developed a case of pneumonia a few days later. A week after he was admitted he passed away with most of his family at his side.
His death was another major event for our family this year. He was the true patriarch of my husband’s family and was a huge source of support for our family here in Texas. His passing caught us all off guard and we miss him dearly.
All 3 of My Boys in School
This year also marked the first time to have all 3 of my boys off at school!
My littlest guy started kindergarten, and you moms of older kids can understand what a significant transition this has been for us!
My Husband’s Unexpected Job Change
The last major event for our family this year has been an even bigger change for us though. In early August we learned that at the end of the year, my husband would need to leave his staff position at our church.
He has held this position for a little over nine years and we had no plans to leave. Since we don’t have any family that lives nearby, our church really functions as our family and is one of the major foundations of our daily life.
I’m struggling to even put into words the significance of this change for our family. It has completely thrown us for a loop, for my husband on a professional level and for my boys and I on a personal level.
For a few months it was looking like we were going to be moving out of the area, and so I was working through ways to close down my local retail spaces and transition my paint lines to a new location. It was really hard thinking about leaving the new spaces I had just moved into and saying goodbye to all of my local customers and friends.
I’ve learned to hold all of this with an open hand though– Lost & Found is a blessing to our family but my husband’s job takes priority. I committed 13 years ago to stand beside him no matter what comes our way, and that includes giving up my local business if necessary.
God often has different plans than we do though, and as the end of the year approaches it now looks like more likely that we will stay somewhat in the area. And what is most amazing is that at the moment, Lost & Found is the only source of regular income for our family.
There are opportunities on the horizon, but as I type this post my husband does not have a new staff position. What that means is that on January 1 our family checking out will receive a transfer from my Lost & Found business account rather than a direct deposit from his work.
If you had asked me 6 years ago if this little hobby of mine would ever turn into something that could actually provide income and support for our family I would have been extremely doubtful. I have been amazed at how gracious God has been to grow my little antique booth business into what it is today, and also incredibly thankful to this community.
A Very Serious “Thank You!”
So I want to take a moment to say a very direct Thank You to all of you who are a part of Lost & Found.
I want you to know that if you read this blog, attend my workshops, shop through my affiliate links, purchase paint from me online, hire me to custom paint your furniture, or shop at my local shops–if you do any or all of those things–you are helping to support our family in our time of need. I am so very grateful.
Like I said above, we didn’t have any plans to leave our current community.
We have been settled here for almost a decade and planned for decades more. But so much of life is outside of our control and we have to trust God that He knows what is best for our future when a big change comes.
As we’ve been living in this limbo world for the past six months I have learned more about what it means to truly trust God for our daily bread. He is good and I know He will continue to provide for our family and eventually lead us to what He has next for us.
Whew. That was a long post!
I had plans to share with you some new things I have in store for 2018, but I think I will save that for another post.
I hope your 2017 was a wonderful year–whether everything stayed the same or whether you went through some changes like our family did.
And here’s to an even better 2018!