This is by far the hardest part of this process.....writing about ourselves and our friendship. How honest do I want to be? How much is too much? Will people really care about any of this? Will I offend someone...? And let's not forget my grammar and writing skills...both can be described as below average.
Let's start with the easy stuff. I can best describe myself by sharing with you all of my active roles. I will start with the most important one, mother. I have an almost 3 year old daughter, Josephine, and her dad is a Women's Collegiate Volleyball Coach. Being a coach's wife was most certainly one of the harder things I have had to do in my life. My daughter, Josephine, was basically born in the gym and still would rather be there than anywhere else. Which brings me to my next role, Coach. I coach Girls Junior National Volleyball, I train about 15 teams with ages ranging from 12-18 yrs old and have my own team at 17's. Our program is located in one of the largest regions, and we have 55 teams (and grow every year). When I am not training them I help advise them throughout their College Recruiting process. I am a Coach from November-July and then I try to use the Fall as a time to grow and develop..except for the season I coached alongside Josephine's Dad for his program. The most recent role I have taken on is partner in a super RAD small business. This is the most foreign to me and is a daily learning process. Blogging, social media, website design, ecommerce....all things we are figuring out as we go....which is not comfortable for me.
I, like Haley, am very passionate. I’m not the kind of person who wants to be great at everything possible but I want to be the best at the endeavors I commit to, which if I am being honest, is way too many things. Sometimes I cry when things are “over” or “complete” whether it is a good or bad finale. I don't get emotional because its "over" but because I put my entire soul into it and I just find myself emotionally exhausted by the end. I can be casual and carefree about almost anything....but not when it comes to doing a job. If it has to do with accomplishing something I care way too much about way too much. If my team has a good practice then I can't shut my brain off and I think about it all night, if we have a bad practice then I can't shut my brain off thinking about all of the ways I can be better. I have never had an issue with going against the grain, in fact, I am better against the grain. I'm like one of those characters in a bad sitcom, the one you talk to from your couch, "don't say it, just walk away"....and I go back and say it anyways. If I believe in it, it is impossible to hold me back. I read this quote once and it became one of my mantras, "Some days I am more wolf than woman and I am still learning how to stop apologizing for my wild".
I come from a family that well, isn't big on talking things out...God, even as I type that I laugh at the understatement. I always struggled with this. I literally have to work things out before I can function. I remember when I was little I got in trouble for something and got sent to my room. I sat there itching to go downstairs and argue why I was sent up there, mostly because I wasn't even clear on what happened. I didn't like feeling "bad" and not knowing why and I knew I wouldn't be like that with people as I got older. I welcome tough conversations because those are the ones I feel have the most significant destinations. I will be better for it at the end, thats how I see it...but most people don't feel comfortable with those kinds of conversations. It's not that I like the confrontation, I am just so strong willed about getting to that clear point at the end. My family was also more the guarded type, that I did inherit. I don't talk about a lot of the things that hurt me, I just try to move forward through the pain or not think about it. I am getting better at this as I get older...I hope. I have older brothers and therefore I think I have a little bit of underdog in me. I would rather prove people wrong than be on top of the world.
Haley and I played travel volleyball together in high school and both ended up playing at the University of Idaho. After college I moved back to the beach in California and then moved from California to Ohio almost 6 years ago. I was starting over in a new state with no job, family or friends. I decided to hit refresh in the career department and started working in fields that made enough money to help with bills and partially tapped into my creative side, but it always ended up being that none of the creative direction was my own and more and more I had a hard time with that. I was partially fulfilled and having some identity issues and then, I had my daughter. I have had a fire inside of me every moment of the last two and a half years to be the best mother. So, we have another identity change mixed with some anxiety that I might not be good enough for this new journey...and every day spent with her was like this big sigh of relief.
Back it up again...I grew up in a home filled with what I would now call treasures, quite a few now fill my home. My mom is brilliantly creative and always “working on something”. She always bought vintage pieces or had items custom made for her, and don’t get me started on her art collection. I have countless memories of waiting for her at the upholsters, massive fabric warehouses, framing stores, and the times we would drive down to Mexico because she had a welder down there. Up until I was in school and had to wear a uniform, she made all of my clothes. No one is like her. My favorite memory is when she would take me to the art lofts in downtown LA where we would walk from one loft to the other admiring each of the artists. To me, it was a million times more exciting than Disneyland. Everything we owned had that "one of a kind" feel and she could effortlessly style any room. Our home was built in 1918 and by 1998 my parents were only the third owners. The master bedroom had one of those phones that when you picked up the handle it rang to the guesthouse, where the driver once lived. Even though it didn't work my mother insisted on keeping these types of details throughout, like the 1940s stove that came with it and she had it refurbished so that it could be the centerpiece of the kitchen. I never realized it but she was inspiring me everyday and here I am, with my own daughter, and I can’t help but dream about giving her the same types of experiences. Unlike Haley, I did not have major dreams of starting my own business but from a very young age I knew what "one of a kind" looked like and how it made me feel. I was always asking my mom where things came from and what the story was. When she didn't know the exact background of an item I would dream of what it's story was. This has affected my style my entire life and this is why Native + nest is the perfect adventure for me.
Haley from Meredith....
Oh, Haley. As you now know, she's one of my closest friends and I would best describe her, and our friendship, as a force to be reckoned with. She is bold and brave and has a confidence about her that is unique. You know those people who fit you just right, they are the perfect blend of opposite and alike? While she is passionate, she is able to determine the things in her life deserving of that passion, I envy her ability to do that. From day one, moment one, she has always challenged me. I will not go into detail on how we actually met, but both literally and figuratively she simply banged on my door one day and I opened it up and let her in. She is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, and the older I get, the luckier I feel.
She manages to push you in a way that is endearing (even when she is driving me nuts, which drives me even more nuts). Most people don’t ask questions because they are afraid of the answers, mostly afraid to hear “no”, not Haley. She once got a serious job in a field she had zero experience in because of her charm and confidence, she knew she would figure it out, and she did. One of the things I admire most about her is when she sets her mind on something she becomes an instant student of the topic and completely immerses herself. I tend to stick to things I know I am good at and focus on mastering them. Anyone who knows her knows that she is always searching for her next idea. Most of us have that one project or idea we are yearning to try but are afraid of the risks involved, or furthermore can’t find the time/energy amongst our day-to-day lives. Aside from my mother, Haley is the only person I know who dares to take those risks and finds the energy to dive right in.
I often confided in Haley that I was dying to roll up my sleeves and throw myself into something that gave me creative freedom. My life can basically be described as regimented chaos and I love every bit of it, however, I’d be remise if I said something hadn't been missing. I was a good representation of the people too scared to take the risk and didn’t feel I had the “time”. Native + nest was an idea she brought to me a year ago, she asks, “do you want to be my partner in this?”. When I sounded interested but unsure of when and how I could get involved she said, “I am really doing this and I want you to do it with me!”. This brings me back to what I mentioned earlier, she always had a way of convincing me to do things with her. She had already come up with the perfect concept and she knew it was something I would dig. The months following that initial phone call, I felt inspired by the authenticity of all these amazing makers we were finding. I continuously looked forward to the idea of this blooming and it has since filled a large hole inside me.
We have been through so much together, here is to another adventure!
Thanks for reading!