We have some friends who have this cute tradition where each time they go out to dinner, they write down something to remember the night by on their receipt. There’s no formula or rules as to what they write, and it’s always different: a yummy dish they shared, something funny that happened, the topics of conversation, etc.
Our last few months have been a whirlwind. There’s a lot going on, and if I were given a receipt and were to write the things to remember this season by, this is what it would say:
+ St. Jude
+ Baby Crew is 1 (cry face)
+ The network
+ The Market
+ Summer of Freedom
St. Jude: When I think of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and our time spent there, the first word that comes to mind is strength. It was overwhelming to see the strength of the kids, their families, and their doctors as they battle together. It’s also been overwhelming to see the strength in numbers when people help people. I’m still in awe and humbled that we, as a community, raised $2 million to help fight childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases through the Chip In Challenge.
Gabe: There is so much that can be said here. When I think back to that day two years ago when Chip met Gabe in Central Park, I could’ve never imagined the impact her life would have on all of us today. Even in the middle of her biggest fight, she lived her life with great purpose and strength. Her grit and fight were balanced so beautifully with her smile and her grace. Even in her final days, as her condition worsened, she so bravely stared cancer down and told it “not today.” Gabe finished her life’s race and she finished it well. Since she left this earth, there’s not a day that goes by where our family doesn’t look up to see what colors she is painting the sky. Read more about Gabe and her story here.
Baby Crew is 1: I can’t believe it. I am finally getting around to working on his birth announcement. It has been on my to-do list for a year now, but on the bright side, I only need to print one copy now…for his baby book! I don’t even know where time went—that seemed like the fastest and best year of our lives. We had so much fun celebrating his first birthday at the farm and my favorite part was when he dove face first into his cake! This little boy is so joyful and so curious and is keeping us on our toes, and it has been so amazing to see him with his brothers and sisters. The addition of Crew to our family has been the greatest gift.
The network: I have to remind myself that it’s possible nobody ever really knows what they’re doing and how it’s ok that we are hitting the ground running while simultaneously learning about this new venture all at once. When I think back to what Chip and I have done together over the past 16 years, it all felt insurmountable at the time. Whether it was flipping our first house together, opening our own business or having kids, there were just so many unknowns. When I get nervous or afraid, the part that gets me up every day is that fact that we get to climb these steep mountains together. We have grown to love the unknown and the risks and challenges that come with it. That’s what makes us feel alive and young. We have started the process of exploring ideas for shows and the ways in which we’ll curate and produce them. Since we started this journey we’ve known one thing for certain: we believe there are good stories waiting to be told and we can’t wait to tell them. In the meantime, we made this little video to help explain the heart behind this venture.
The Market: Magnolia Market opened in 2003 and it continues to grow and change and evolve, but the goal has stayed the same: we want you to love and enjoy your home. Each season, I design and curate a new collection of homewares and accessories for the shop. This summer, I’m feeling inspired by deeper yellows, peachy pinks, and soft blues that all add a distinct look to the story of summer. I wanted to offer products that can help with the natural rhythm of summer—lazy mornings and late evenings, unexpected gatherings, and quiet moments to relax and unwind. I want to try to soak up every bit of time summer gives us and if you are visiting us at the Silos, I hope your time here made this season even sweeter.
Summer of Freedom: This summer, both as a company as well as in the Magnolia Journal, we’re taking a look at freedom and what it means to be free. Each one of these things that we’d scribble on our receipt has reminded me of the different sorts of freedom we can embrace. The Market and the network are reminders that you’re free to try something, free to take your shot even if you don’t feel prepared or have all of your ducks in a row. Crew reminds me of the freedom of a little child, unhindered by the burdens of the world: the way his eyes light up when he sees something new, his belly laugh when we make a funny noise, his desire to explore everything without fear. And the children at St. Jude and Gabe have taught me a different sort of freedom, the kind that can be had even when it feels like everything around you is crashing down: freedom to be brave, freedom to be scared, freedom to run your race.
We continually feel your support. You have encouraged us from the very beginning and we are so grateful. Thank you for taking the time to connect with us. I want to leave you with an excerpt on freedom from this season’s Magnolia Journal:
“…I’m not going to pretend it’s not scary to dig in, to fight for something within yourself that you may not even be able to name. But that’s nothing compared to the aftermath should we choose to pretend that it’s safer to stay the same. Every day, every hour—we get to decide who we are meant to be. The breath in our lungs is the official declaration that we’ve got more growing to do. I believe there’s a whole world of untapped potential buried within me, hoping that I’ll be brave enough to unearth it. I also believe there’s a whole world of untapped potential within you. And it’s hoping, waiting to see if you’re willing to set it free.”
Here’s to a beautiful summer!