In 2017 my little mantra, line, goal, whatever was 'tell your story.' You can read about why I picked that right here. And so I set out to do just in every avenue of life. Including keeping a monthly rundown of life here on the blog.
And yes, I promise that my 2018 mantra is coming on Jan 1. But until then, we need to look at 2017 in review and see what happened. It was an awesome year, with a lot of steep learning curves for me personally and the farm did incredibly well and the flower business knocked it out of the park, so to say I'm happy is an understatement.
Here we go.....
January: January started off with a hell of a bang. Meaning for Matt and I, as it does most New Year's Eve nights, we made a huge delicious dinner, drank some wine and went to bed at 10pm. That month the snowmobilers drove on the lavender, we had supper club, we started on a new home improvement project (our upstairs) and I went to Grand Rapids and we found Egan and wedding dress. Matt had surgery to remove a weird tumor on his hand. It had been bothering him for years and the doctor was concerned so we went in for hand surgery a full 4 weeks earlier than expected. All good! I also spoke at the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference that month. It's a great event. All that chatting about telling my story got me invited back this year to talk about 'how to tell you story' I can't make this stuff up. Grab a seat right here.
February: We went to Napa! And we absolutely fell in love with Northern California and I want to go every year. We drank so much good wine, laughed so hard and stayed in the cutest inn. Such a fun trip. I taught a floral workshop at Fieldguide Farmhouse, we hosted a winter edition of The Gather Series and I cooked a gazillion new recipes. It was awesome. The biggest news of February was I left my full time job as a television reporter. You can read my most read blog post ever right here. What a month. What a journey.
March: Hygge! I hosted my first ever Creative Women's Retreat and it changed my life. Truly. So much so that we are hosting two weekends this year. You can read all about it right here. But basically starting this month off surrounded by women who inspire me was a prescription for winter healing. This was also the month of the insane, truly- INSANE wind storm. I was so pissed. Read about it right here. In March I also shared with everyone about my 'little black cloud' and was met with some incredible reactions, it seems we ALL have a LBC. March is the time of the year when I get so jittery to be back outside. We went to Florida for Spring Break which always helps, but I really just wanted to be in our yard. So we turned the corner to April and I was revving to work with flowers and be in the dirt.
April: I bounced down to Charlotte really fast to see Moll and Piper. Although the trip was way too short, I'm glad I made the time to see my god-daughter and best. I came home and immediately hit the studio to lead some private students in some design work, had a couple speaking engagement thingies and one of my most loved and read blog posts of the year was published, "The Day It All Came Full Circle." I also got to spend a night with some pretty incredible women business owners and share a meal, thats the kind of stuff that makes my heart flutter. I had an April wedding which I flowered for completely solo, always an adventure and it felt SO good to get back in the studio. April, LOL, Matt and I were CONVINCED one day that all the lavender had died. Matt was like 100% convinced and I was not all the way there but just a touch worried. April is tough. The snow was gone but good LORD we have a long way to go to green. Patience patience patience.
May: I turned 29 and did Whole30. I loved it so much. SO MUCH. I also taught a Mother's Day workshop in Traverse City which was so fun, we had a great turnout. A lot of May was spent preparing for what was just around the corner, our busiest season of the year. Which before I could blink it felt like we were right in the middle of it.
June - October: Yes. I am making this one part of the year. You know why? Because it felt like it. Wedding season was incredible. We flowered for nearly 50 events and our couples once again proved to me that Stems & Sprigs gets to work with the most incredible families in the world. They love us like their own, which to us makes all the difference. Our clients challenged us to think outside the box and come up with some of the best stuff I could ever imagine. Lily, Egan & Anna were a perfect team this season. Knowing exactly how to execute events with an attention to detail, and the ability to laugh at ourselves at all times. Aside from wedding work, the lavender bloomed like crazy and we welcomed hundreds of people out to the farm with dinners, parties, yoga in the lavender and special events. We got to flower at Faster Horses Country Music Festival downstate. We hosted Egan's wedding here at the farm. We had friends visit from all over. We swam in the lake, rode on the boat and took lots of porch naps at Walloon and we enjoyed our summer, despite the crazy work. It was magic. It always is.
November: November was nearly a total focus on our Wreath Workshops (5 sold out!) and the opening of Christmas at Sweetwater. I put in a ton of hours outside and in the studio making wreaths and special items for clients who wanted a bit more for their holiday decor this year. We escaped to Florida for a few days with our best friends and had the time of our lives, but as with anything the trip was WAY too short and we were back at the farm ready to rock before we knew it. We could not have had Christmas at Sweetwater without the help of so many amazing friends and family members who jumped in on short notice to provide us labor, love and goodness. We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and then opened to the public the next morning! It was an amazing first weekend and ended up being our busiest ever at the farm.
December: The first half of the month we wrapped up Christmas at Sweetwater. By our count over 300 people visited us at the farm those weekends. We are so honored. It was a fun way for us to meet so many locals and we can't wait to see so many of you this summer for lavender love! With the slowing down of things over here we closed up the farm for the season and I started volunteering a bit more at school to help with athletic events. Between holiday parties and general merriment, I also spent a lot of time this month cooking and taking a nap or two here and there and just slowing down. It's what I plan to do for most of the winter, and I'm glad to have you here along for the ride.
2017 was an incredible year for us. It was also a busy year. I'm committing that no matter how hard it seems in 2018, to slowing down a bit more during our crazy season, even if this means jumping in the lake a bit more and taking a few more porch naps. ;)
Thanks for being here.
Happy New Year