“The days are long, but the years are short.” – Gretchen Rubin
October is a very important month to me as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. I started a business, got married and had a baby all the in the month of October. Okay, so not all of those things happened in a single October, but two did. In October of 2014 Nick & I got married and opened Warrenwood Manor. Between planning a wedding and launching a business let’s just say 2014 was a crazy year. They say “Go big or go home”, right? I’d like to say that life has calmed down since the insanity of 2014, but that would be a bold-faced lie. And, well I don’t lie. So, today I’m talk about some big milestones that we’re hitting this month and what I’ve learned along the way as a wife, mother and entrepreneur.
Celebrating Life as an Entrepreneur
Technically, I became an entrepreneur first. On October 10, 2014, the day before our wedding, Nick and I finalized the purchase of Warrenwood Manor. As we sat in the attorney’s office I was so tired and I looked it. Between wedding prep and venue overhauling, I was drained. With no makeup on and my wet hair pulled back in a bun, I’m pretty sure everyone in the office thought I was crazy. Hey, at least I had showered, right? Nick & I signed the papers, kissed goodbye and went our separate ways to get back to work. I don’t know if I was just too overwhelmed or stressed to acknowledge this BIG thing, but it was ridiculously unceremonious. Or maybe I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. Either way, now I know that starting Warrenwood wasn’t a small thing. As you can see from the above images, we’ve come a long way, but Warrenwood will forever be a work in progress.
Reflecting on four years of business, I’m confident that I’ve done one thing well. I have treated people the way that I’d like to be treated. I truly believe in giving more grace than someone deserves and you know what? People see and appreciate that. I’m pretty sure it makes me feel better than it makes them, but either way it’s a win! You cannot go wrong when you love on people even when they’re upset with you because it’s raining on their wedding day.
As I look to year five, I know that I need to do a better job of making work fun and celebrating when something big happens. I tend to achieve something and immediately start working on the next big thing on the to do list. For example, this year we hosted our 100th wedding. Sure we celebrated on social media with a blog post and highlight video, but I didn’t take one second to celebrate in real life. You can totally relate to this if you’re an Enneagram type number 3, “the Visionary or the Achiever”, like me. I’m setting a goal right now to work on this with intention as I continue to capitalize on other areas that come more naturally to me.
(Side Note: If you are not familiar with Enneagram, I highly recommend looking into it. There are all kinds of free tests, but I did the $12 one from the Enneagram Institute. You will learn a lot about yourself, how to best feed your soul and how to work with others of different personality types. It was so informative to me! And apparently Joanna Gaines too because she talked about it in The Magnolia Journal which means it MUST be important! Duh.)
Celebrating Life as a Wife
On October 11, 2014 Nicholas Adams and I hosted our own wedding at our own wedding venue! It was a cool October day, in the low 50s, with a light mist all day. I was freezing in my sweetheart cut, strapless lace dress, but I didn’t care, it was our wedding day and it was perfect!
As a bride, I’m so glad that I spent money on the things that were important to me! I didn’t want to be stressed. I wanted beautiful flowers. And, I wanted great photography. So, I planned accordingly. Doug Smith Designs and Events did a great job as my coordinator and floral designer. I was able to just relax and take in every special moment of the day. Nick and I aren’t all that photogenic and we really don’t like being the center of attention, but Hilly Photography made us feel comfortable to be ourselves and somehow captured amazing pictures of our day.
Since our wedding, Nick and I have learned to trust and support each other through high highs, low lows and everything in-between. We have come to embrace the fact that sometimes our emotions are like an elevator rising and falling in tandem while other times they will be in opposition more like a see-saw. We have crazy big goals for our lives and we realize now that the sacrifices we make to reach them are a blessing, not a burden. We’re not perfect as individuals or as a couple, but that is okay. As long as we communicate and work as a team we can enjoy the journey together.
Celebrating Life as a Mother
October 9, 2017 Addison Leigh Adams was born. After years of trying and experiencing devastating losses, our sweet baby girl came into this world and changed our lives forever. Y’all I’m not going to lie, being a business owner while pregnant was rough for me! And having her in the busiest time of year for the wedding industry was rough too! I was sick the entire time I was pregnant, had terrible acid reflux, went from low blood pressure to high, took blood thinner shots every day and had pre eclampsia. TMI, I know. But honestly, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat to be able to know the love of sweet Addi Leigh.
Looking back on my first year as a working mother, my first thought is, “WE SURVIVED!” Thank the Dear Lord my business, my baby, my marriage and I survived this first year. Then I think about how glad that I made a conscious effort to really disconnect from work more to be fully present when I’m with Addi. There are, of course, times when I have to take a call or answer an important email, but I am so thankful for every minute I get to spend with her. Addi goes to daycare each day but when we get home, I get to hold her little hand as she teeters from one mischief to the next. I get to take her for a walk to see her favorite barn kittens. I get to watch her face as she tastes new foods for the first time. It’s THE best.
Being Addison’s mom has helped me better understand the emotions parents have on their child’s wedding day. I’m a bit more sentimental about every wedding because I now realize what a BIG deal it is to everyone involved. I’m also more conscious of how families, especially mothers and daughters, work together to create an amazing wedding day. I try to learn from families that work well together so that some day Addi and I can plan an event that she will absolutely love from start to finish.
If I really think about it, I’m sure there are thousands of things that I would have done differently over the past year. The one that stands out to me the most is that I’ve put myself and my health last behind Addi, my husband, my business, and all the other things. Going into Addi’s second year of life, one thing that I really want to work on is to plan more. As Rachel Hollis says, “hope is not a strategy.” So, instead of hoping that I’ll get a workout in or hoping that I’ll actually have time with my family and friends or hoping this/that, I’m going to plan on it. I am going to live with more intention so that I can squeeze even more joy from every single second of life.
As I celebrate my 4th wedding anniversary, 4th wedding season at Warrenwood, and Addi Leigh’s 1st birthday, I have this overwhelming feeling of thankfulness. I am incredibly grateful to be married to such a soft hearted, hard working man. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to walk alongside wonderful people as they celebrate their marriage. And I’m grateful doesn’t even begin to describe how thankful I am to hear Addi say, “mama.” I’d always heard the quote, “the days are long, but the years are short,” but the older I get the more I find this to be true. So if there’s one thing I plan to do in the coming year, it’s to live with intention. Stick with me and I’ll give you an update about how I’ve worked towards this goal in October of 2019!