when ONE moment changes your entire life
I remember sitting on my couch, New Years Eve, 2018, determined to start the new year off with something great. Something life changing. Something that would pick me up out of the shallows of postpartum depression and give me a feeling of freedom.
Starting a blog had been on my mind for months, and something inside me said, “This is it. This will change your life.”
Now keep in mind, in that moment, the life change I was believing for was as simple as having some “me-time” while my newborn napped. I had absolutely NO idea the blog would drastically change my family’s entire life trajectory.
greatest investment of all time
In no time I found myself googling “How to Start a Mommy Blog.” And I really went for it! I poured my heart and soul into building this site and was anxious to fill it with enjoyable, relatable content. I spent my Christmas money buying everything that goes into starting a website from scratch, and I can honestly say it was the best investment I’ve EVER made.
At 11:59pm on December 31st, 2018 I launched theparsonspack.com, and it immediately became a source of joy and identity (which strangely, I felt I was lacking after having a baby). It gave me “permission” to fully immerse myself in my new role as “Mom.”
To many I’m sure it seemed crazy that instead of napping while my infant daughter slept, I wrote. I wrote throughout the days and late into the nights. I knew in my gut this wasn’t just a phase. It wasn’t a quick fix. It was a calling.
My original site tag line was “A Mommy Blog Not Just for Mommies,” which was perfect starting out because, the truth is, I didn’t really have a defined niche yet. I simply started by writing about things I would have enjoyed reading, or things I found myself googling throughout the day. This worked well for the purpose of filling my site with content, but I knew it wouldn’t be sustainable. I needed to find myself as a blogger so I’d be able to reach a specific group of readers in a powerful way. I wanted my blog to spark joy and creativity while bringing a sense of hope and adventure.
I like to say I’m a “recovering” over-thinker. 😛 It’s way too easy for me to get lost in my thoughts and ideas to the point were I think so much, I never actually do anything. Can you relate? I refused to let that happen in this case, though. Like I said, I believed with all my heart this was a call on my life, so I handed it over to the creator of life trusting Him to work it out. And man oh man, He did. 😉
No, blogging doesn’t pay. At first. 😉
I believe with all my heart that when we are faithful with little, we will be given more. We are a huge testament to this. I’m about to get real raw with you. So buckle up.
Before Harley was born, I was working a part-time job I absolutely hated. I won’t deny a part of me was extremely relived when our budget wouldn’t allow for me to go back. Because the cost of daycare would basically wipe my paycheck, Ryan and I agreed that I’d stay home and raise our sweet girl myself. This felt like a dream come true until the reality of living on one income set in. Ryan had spent the last five years working his way up to a great, headquarters position with a local credit union. But the sad truth was, he was grossly underpaid. Budgets are wonderful, until you don’t have enough to meet your basic needs. So come mid-March, we were running on fumes. We needed a solution, and fast.
Leave it to moms to get you headed in the right direction. My mom came for a weekend visit and insisted we take her to church (we’d been giving in to exhaustion and playing hookie the previous few weeks). So there we all are, Sunday morning, March 24th, 2019, at The Father’s House in Roseville, and out comes a guest preacher. I won’t go into the details of the sermon, but it was titled, “Next Level,” and it honestly rocked. our. world.
Words are a powerful tool, and that Sunday we made some powerful declarations over our life.
THE NEXT LEVEL
Walking out of church that morning, I felt renewed and completely exhilarated. I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that God would not only get us by, but would completely change our lives and take us to “the next level.” Ryan and I discussed next steps and decided it was time for him to start interviewing elsewhere. We agreed on a very specific annual salary we felt would be a great step toward that “next level” we both believed God had for us.
Here’s where I feel the clock started ticking. The following events changed our lives forever:
1. I drove my mom back to fresno
For whatever reason – seriously.. so weird- I convinced my mom to leave her car in Sacramento and let me drive her home. I planned to stay a day or two, then drive her back to get her car (even writing it now I recognize it made absolutely no sense).
While at my parents’ house, I took some time to fill out at least 20 online applications for Ryan. We sent applications anywhere and everywhere. Anything that was within his skill set and paid our agreed amount from California all the way to Florida.
2. I stayed an extra day
I was pretty adamant about not staying in town more than a couple of days, but Tuesday came and somehow mom convinced me to stay. “O.K. but we are leaving by lunch tomorrow!”
3. We didn’t Leave by “lunch tomorrow”
Lunch came and went and my mom pleaded, “Tomorrow is your dad’s birthday. Why don’t we stay in town long enough to take him to breakfast?”
How do you say no to that?
4. Breakfast didn’t happen
Somehow we ALL slept in and enjoyed a lazy morning. I was sitting with my mom in her office around 11:30 on Thursday, March 28th saying it was time to hit the road when my dad walked in.
“Mannie called and invited us to lunch.”
5. The lunch that changed everything
Mannie was a client of my dad’s, and to put it simply: you never turn down a lunch invitation from Mannie. He’s an incredibly generous man who appreciates fine wine and decadent food. And, I may be jumping the gun here, but he’s an amazing boss too. 😉
Obviously we went to lunch, and as we’re sipping Mannie’s choice wine my dad brings up my blog. The next few minutes were a complete whirlwind of emotion. Mannie loved my website and started asking me more about what I was doing with the blog. That led to us discussing a partnership with a series of sponsored posts, which got my creative juices pumping and the ideas flowing. By the end of our conversation, he was so intrigued with the ideas I’d been sharing that he just stoped and said, “Forget it. I just want to hire you and put you on staff.”
I stopped and stared. “Are you kidding?”
Then he straight up offered me a starting salary. The exact amount Ryan and I discussed.
I was in sincere shock. I just kept looking from him to my parents asking, “Is this real?”
I immediately called Ryan and we both cried. “Looks like we’re moving to Clovis,” he finally replied.
I’d say “the rest is history,” but this is just the beginning
Jumping ahead a few months, I’ve not only launched a DIY page here on the blog, but I’ve fallen completely in love with a hobby I never would have considered otherwise. I titled this post “Finding Myself,” because this new season not only inspired me to find myself as a blogger, discovering my true niche, but it’s developed me as a woman, wife, and mother. In life I am passionate about a handful of things. Among them: my faith, being a wife & mother, and encouraging women to literally live their best life. My best life is being realized through my personal relationship with God, motherhood, friendship, and now sewing. From these my niche was born.
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