Chapter 20-Year 1 Anniversary
On August 30th, 2017, Chad and I started our newest adventure. It’s amazing to look back at what the past year has brought. In addition to A TON of projects, it brought love, community and family together; but most of all, it increased our faith in God.
It’s easy to rely on God when everything’s in your control (because that doesn’t take any faith at all)..but when you take leap of faith, you aren’t saying, “God I know you will bring success” but “God whatever happens, I know your hand is in it-whether we are successful or not.”
When you have faith in God, you are basically saying, "God I trust you with it all."
Chad and I said that a lot. We had to learn how to just let go and let God do His thing.
As I look back at this year, it feels like a whirlwind. It feels like one of the longest and fastest years of my life at the same time. There were times that we felt like we had bit off more than we could chew and then a bride would come along and say that she could see what we saw. #confidenceboost
In the first six months that we showed the property, we always felt a little crazy walking the bride and her family around our property saying, “well we are going to knock out these horse stalls, and bury the power lines and add bathrooms and…”
Once we started to actually do those things, it was easier to talk others through our vision. I will always be grateful to our first few brides who booked with us-while we still had dirt floors, horse stalls and power lines for days. They could see what we saw. They had faith in us, which was flattering and scary all at once.
When it was so cold we had to go inside to ‘thaw out’ to being outside in the scorching sun, we remembered that these brides had faith in us and that brought us through some hard moments.
Oddly enough, one of my hardest moments was this…
Now the reason I am smiling here is because we had just finished this project. You might look and say, “that doesn’t look hard” but was one of the most challenging things I did. Chad had just pulled his back and we needed to dig a french drain yesterday! Because I didn’t grow up just digging french drains, Chad guided me through it. He was able to get the dirt lose(ish) and I had to dig it out and measure the level of the line. There were several other challenges about this project that I won’t mention that just made it hard to accomplish, but after a long day-it was done.
There were a lot of projects like this that aren’t pretty or even visible to our visitors today. Those projects felt like the hardest because I couldn’t see a pretty end result. Like for example, when we buried the power lines, that was a super noticeable thing or when we painted the house…those are things that everyone can see and notice an improvement to the property. But it’s the things that people don’t see that are the hardest…I guess the same is true in life.
But as time passed, our property improved. Each month we had a big goal and several things lined up to help us achieve that goal. I think about how much paint we have bought over the past 12 months and I believe we are keeping our Sherwin-Willimas in business (and we still have a lot more painting to do). There was one day where we were working on the plumbing for the bathrooms and I went to Lowes four times before noon…Chad had went three times that day too.
Needless to say, things/projects are never as easy as you think they are going to be.
Part of why we started this blog was 1) because my friend Banissa had suggested that people may want to see our progress 2) so we don’t forget how far we have come. The photo above is a great example of not forgetting the progress we’ve made. If you have ever been to the property, this is the area where the ramp/stairs are to get to the barn. Chad and I are still not happy with our current situation, but when I see this photo, it reminds me that we used to have to walk down a hill to even access the barn. Now we at least have a legitimate pathway.
After eight months of hard work, we hosted our first wedding. Then two weeks later, we hosted another one. Then we added bathrooms to our barn before the third wedding.
Between each wedding, we pull out the tools and continue to work on the property. It’s exciting now as brides come visit, we can show them a more polished space. You don’t have to try to imagine your wedding there because people have already done it. Now when we talk to brides about our projects, it’s about painting or putting in sidewalks (not creating an entire venue).
Photo by Joy Wildflower Photos
Chad and I would have never thought that we would be where we are in just one year of moving here. We have been overwhelmed with support from our families, friends and community. We look forward to growing our business and seeing where we are at the end of year 2.