In my twenties, I was living in Chicago and working in advertising. I knew nothing and everything all in the same breath. I was young, ambitious, and probably a little more arrogant than I would like to admit. I was a wide-eyed girl from Ohio who was in the “big city” and determined to make her mark.
Advertising would have been a great career for me, if you took out the love/hate part of the equation. It was exciting, fast paced, and fed my creative drive, but I felt no real connection to what we were making. My real passion was already deeply rooted in something that couldn’t be found in the office. It was in my kitchen. Cooking was what I lived to do, advertising was just how I paid for it. So, as any young, naive twenty something does, I took a leap of faith and assumed it would all work it. I left my job, and enrolled in culinary school.
For two years, I kept my head down and worked as hard as I could. I soaked it all up. Cooking gave me the same adrenalin rush as adverting had years ago, only this time I felt something deeper. I was hooked. I started working at Spiaggia, got married and was just weeks shy of finally graduating when I found out I was pregnant. It was not the plan I had expected.
I was 29 years old, with two degrees, two careers now put away on a shelf, and was about to become a stay at home mom making baby food.
Asher was only 22 months when Lillian entered our life. Two kids rocked my world. Being a stay at home mom of two small children was my hardest job yet, and one I wasn’t prepared for.
Throughout these early years of motherhood, yoga had been a part of my life, but It wasn’t until after Lillian’s birth that I became committed to my practice. Yoga provided me a sanctuary and a quiet space that I so desperately needed during those years. Yoga reminded me of cooking. Both require focus, attention, and a deep intention. I remember years earlier the executive Chef at Spiaggia engraining in us young cooks the idea of “moving with purpose” in the kitchen. Here I was years later, still moving with purpose, but in a new way. Yoga was my new cooking.
Over the course of the next several years I earned two teaching certifications, started teaching yoga a few days a week, and had another baby. Yoga, cooking, mothering…those were the things that filled my life for years.
In the spring of 2015 our family packed up the only life we had known and moved across the country to start a new life. What I naively assumed would be fun and exciting proved to be lonely and hard.
Shortly after our move, we unexpectedly welcomed our fourth baby. The weight of resettling a family of six when I’d lost my footing was more than I could handle. Thankfully years ago, I had been given the gift to know the things that ground me. So, I returned to my roots – yoga, cooking, mothering. I stripped it back to the basics, forgot about all the other stuff that I thought mattered – and kept it simple. I reevaluated it all. I spent time on my mat every day, spent time in my kitchen and most importantly on the floor with my kids. Slowly, almost as if moving backward, we slowly crept forward and the darkness began to lift. We began to build a new life.
We are shortly approaching our two year anniversary of our move to the east coast. Although the ground still feels a little wobbly at times, I can feel us rooting down and getting settled.
Over this past year I began to document little pieces of my journey. A journey that I didn’t realize at the time was about creating a life filled with intention and awareness. I started putting words down on paper last summer (I know, I’ve been working on this for a long time) and somehow here we are.
I don’t have a plan, or a goal for Grace in the Crumbs. The last time I made life plans, they didn’t turn out quite how I thought. And yet, I couldn’t be happier. So I’m setting down any plans I had for this project, and instead openly sharing with all of you whatever is happening in our lives. The messy, the beautiful, the complicated, and the real.
So for now, for today, I hope you stay a while. Linger around, make yourself at home. I hope you find something that speaks to you. Something that ignites a spark in you. And most importantly I hope that whatever mess you find yourself as you’re reading this, whatever crumbs may be lying on your floor, I hope you can find a little grace while you’re down there…