It’s been 5 years since I last wrote an about me. We had just moved on to the farm and it was just joe, me and the dogs. Fast forward 5 years and we have sheep, chickens, gardens and of course otto. Life has a funny way sometimes of changing all at once. I hate writing about me’s because it forces me to try to define myself which just seems impossible to do when everything is so blurry. I’ll do my best though by breaking it down between who I am and what I do.
Lets start with what I do because that is just easier. I am a full time juggler. You know those people in the circus that juggle the spinning plates? That’s me. Always trying to add one more plate to the mix.
You’ll hear me refer to my “big girl job” a lot. My family owns and operates convenience stores in Michigan called J & H Family Stores. The company was started in 1969 by my grandpa Hop and my dad, brother, husband and I all work there. My role there is marketing. It’s a lot of fun and a big challenge to work with your family but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My involvement has changed over the past few years with Otto’s arrival but I’m still enjoying it and life is getting back to our new normal. Growing up I was NEVER going to work at the family business. I was too independent for that. But as life would have it I got some outside experience and learned that I could be using these skills and knowledge towards building something that would directly impact my family. So I eventually made the transition to the family business and it’s been almost 10 years.
In addition to the family business I am 1/3 owner of the found cottage. As of now we are in our third year of business, which seems impossible to believe. My partners liz and lisa and I sat in a coffee shop one snowy afternoon after feeling defeated and going through some pretty traumatic events. We just felt that this is what we were being called to do. One month later we literally opened the found cottage. It just all came together so naturally and we all felt it was meant to be. We have over 20 hard working amazing, talented vendors in the store that makes it so unique. Last year we were able to move into a bigger space next door and are currently remodeling the warehouse to expand. We put on our second fall market this year and each year we learn and grow more within the business. My role there is clothing, jewelry and accessories.
Those are the two “jobs” but I also love writing here. This is my creative space to share my part time passions with you. I love to cook, farm, garden, antique and more. I love talking about flowers, food and motherhood. I used to write everyday but ever since otto that has become darn near impossible, I’m hoping to get more on a twice a week schedule but stay tuned. I appreciate everyone who takes the time out of their day to come and read what I write and create and share with me what you are up to.
Now the hard part. Who is abby?
Here is my best attempt.
Abby has gone through a great transition over the five years since writing her last “about me”. I’ve been tried and tested and put through a bit of a wringer but life has still been absolutely beautiful at the same time.
A few years ago joe and I experienced our first pregnancy and the loss of that pregnancy. It was the second most trying time in my entire life second only to the complications with our son otto. You can read more about our miscarriage here.
For about a solid year I walked around in a weird state of depression. My body wasn’t normal, I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt like a total failure and I felt totally and completely robbed of what should have been a joyous experience. A shorter way to put it was I was just flat out angry. It took a while for me, a solid year in fact to even think about trying to get pregnant again. Little did I know that is pretty much what it took. Almost a year to the date of our first pregnancy we found out we were pregnant with our second baby.
I would be lying to you if I said it was all flowers and sunshine. I knew something was off deep in my bones. I knew that something was coming. Maybe it was just being scarred from the miscarriage but I wouldn’t let myself celebrate until the 13 week ultrasound. Once they said the baby (goldfish) made is that far and was progressing as normal I could breath a bit but something was still pulling at me. At our 20 week ultrasound they found something with our babies heart. And from that day forward life has never been the same. You can read more about that story here.
I changed when I became a mother and held my sweet baby for the first time knowing that we had a fight ahead of us. But the most fundamental change in me came when it was time for otto to have his open heart surgery.
For a long time I relied on myself to get things done. If I wanted something I worked hard and gave myself the credit. It wasn’t until my son was in surgery and then not doing well in recovery that I finally had to give up the grip that I had so tightly on the things in my life. (http://binksandthebadhousewife.com/post-op-report/)
I tell of this moment often because I feel it is so important. But I laid on the ground of our parent room at the hospital and just flipped my hands open to the ceiling and prayed that God’s will be done for our lives. Whatever the outcome may be, prepare me for it and give me strength. Because if it’s not coming home with our baby, I need to know how to get through it. At that moment I gave up control. I gave up the me first attitude. I gave back control to God. I’m not saying that I even had it to begin with but maybe I mean listening and obeying God’s call for my life.
I still don’t get it right 100% of the time. I’m human. But I’m learning to live with more grace and stillness. I’m trying to be open and listen.
Otto turned a year this summer and he might have more surgeries in his future but we have had such a beautiful year with him. He is growing and thriving and we are navigating what it means to be parents let alone parents of a child with special health needs. I continue to see God’s faithfulness to us each day as otto grows bigger and stronger. I’ve never first hand witnessed a miracle in my life until Otto. I’m so happy that he gets to be mine.
Each day is truly a gift and I strive to live as such.