well folks… that was not pretty, but we made it through to the other side. the good news is that lots and lots of christmas cards all made it out (even mine…at the very last second) and the workmen who have taken over my house these past 8 weeks are pretty much all gone for good. so…i guess maybe i’ll have time to write up week 1 and 2 of the renovation diaries soon! ha ha ha. what a laugh it was thinking i could keep up with that in real time or even just a little bit delayed! you see, i am always learning. every holiday card season, i learn SO much. you would think i have this down pat by now, but oh no. the brunt of what i learned this year is that i took on too much. in reality, the renovation was a piece of cake, it was all of the holiday card orders that really made a difference in how things flowed around the homestead. we did not have a week between thanksgiving and the beginning of december like we usually do and….woah. i really missed that week! i think a lot of us did. all of a sudden i was turning around and there were something like fourteen days until christmas – whaaa?
i did something that i had not done before this year – i hired help! OMG it was life changing. i hired the BEST help too – laine, one of my oldest friends, meticulously lined envelopes and i mean meticulously. carly, one of our babysitters / good friend’s little sister, taped on thousands (literally) of photos and made so many runs to get more double stick tape, i lost count. these girls put the pedal to the medal for calliespondence (complete with a mid-december work session until the wee hours of the morning!) and i cannot thank them enough!!!! i never could have made it through november and december without them, seriously. they helped me ship out approximately 8,000 holiday cards this year – holy. moly.
this year has been record breaking for calliespondence. it’s been steadily busy for almost the entire year, and this holiday season was the biggest by far we’ve ever had. i’ve been thinking about the word “success” lately – i think we all think if you’re “successful,” you keep growing, you get more clients, more orders, more everything. here’s the thing – this whole calliespondence thing? it’s just me. sitting here in the worldwide HQ like i do. i do all of the designing, print proofing, photo affixing, card counting, envelope lining, packaging, shipping, invoicing, website updating, question responding, blog posting, photo taking, you get the drift. it’s a lot, but i LOVE coffee. generally, it’s pretty seamless – i can fit most of what needs to be done in to a preschool session, a nap time and a little bit after bedtime. holiday card season months, it’s a lot more than that, and everything in my family life takes a toll because of it. meals don’t get made (luckily didn’t have to worry about that this year with no kitchen! hello urban pl8 paleo meal plan – i will blog more about this because you need to know), laundry doesn’t get done, sleep is not had, floor is not picked up, a lot more superwhy is watched. this year it was more obvious than last year that my family doesn’t really work so well when mama checks out for a span of about 6-8 weeks. so for me, “success” is going to mean more of a balance, all 52 weeks of the year. what does that really mean? well, it means that i will be taking on less custom orders. i will have to say “no” more. i will have to limit holiday card orders next year. i hate to do that because i absolutely adore doing holiday cards, but for me – “success” is keeping things between the mayonnaise and the mustard for my little family and designing stationery after that’s all taken care of. plus – i mean how much longer will my kids even let me sit next to them and snuggle on the couch? i gotta carve out more time for that stat.
thank you all so very, very much for reading, ordering or just caring – i can’t tell you how much it thrills me to hear how much my clients love their cards when they receive them, or hearing what their loved ones said about them….it makes my day, every time. i adored working with each and every one of my holiday card clients this year, spreading a little yuletide cheer here and there, one mailbox at a time. thank you for letting me do that!!
p.s. a belated merry christmas from our family! and a sneak peek at one of the foil stamped holiday card orders…we will be offering this as an option this year.
one of my favorite pictures of the kids, captured by dylan blue photography!