This blog is a harder one for me to write for many reasons, but mainly because I feel I am letting you down. I can usually write a blog in no time. DIY, home decor, painting, easy to write about. Matters from the heart… not so easy. I worry what others will think. Which is comical in its own right as I am known to speak my mind. But in reality, while I exude a persona that I don’t care what others think, I really do. I am trying to care less and live my life for my family and myself. As life goes along, we are constantly working on growing and changing ourselves to be better people. And those changes can affect all aspects of our lives. So here goes being completely transparent with all of you and sharing those changes.
When Cody and I decided to move, it was very intentional. We wanted to move to provide a better life for our family. To be able to do this, we needed to have better financial health. Colorado is a beautiful state and we have strong roots there. My grandpa was a native to Colorado and there is a lake in Divide named after our family. Cody is a 5th generation native and has a ton of history throughout the state including a town that was once named after his family, to the first Lutheran Church in the state being on the family ranch. This book was done by Cody’s cousin Autumn of the ranch. It sits on our industrial cart coffee table in our parlor along with another book about the Wet Mountain Valley.
Here is a lake near Divide. The man in the picture was my great-grandfather’s brother. The three brothers ran a lettuce farm on the ranch.
The lake was used to provide ice for shipping the lettuce. They would store the ice in hay in railroad cars and then use it to ship in the summer.
When we decided to move, it wasn’t because we don’t like Colorado, but because the cost of living there is so high. We felt like it would take us years to get to where we could afford things for our girls such as dance lessons, saving for college, etc. We were just getting by and working until midnight every night and most weekends. This was due to running a business full time, Cody working full time, and being a full time mom. I give you this back story to hopefully give you a better understanding of why we are making the changes we are now.
The Pink Moose had tremendous growth in the first 4 years of business. Beyond our wildest dreams. So many times we have heard people say, “that’s a good problem to have!” Yes, except that it was affecting our family life. My stress was always high, our relationship with our girls was poor, and we were still barely making ends meet.
The MOVE and The Pink Moose
When Cody got the job in Leavenworth, we were really excited (still are!). It was a great promotion for Cody in job status and financially. The cost of living in KS and the housing market are so much cheaper. We were able to sell our house in CO that is half the size of our house in KS for a significant amount more. CRAZY!
Anyway, we had a lot (and I mean A LOT) of conversations about what we were doing with The Pink Moose. We decided making barn doors and baby gates no longer made sense. Cody would no longer be able to help with the builds and I would be doing administrative work only (not my favorite part of owning a business). Thus we felt it best to pass the torch to our carpenter at the time, Sam. We have not looked back on that decision. It was the right choice.
I thought for sure when we moved here that I would still do shows once a month, that I would find a place to teach painting classes on a regular basis and eventually on our own property. I liquidated all of our back pile of furniture though as we didn’t want to move it. We were going to move finished inventory, half of my parent’s belongings (they are going to be full time travelers in a couple of months and are selling their house), and our own belongings.
Once we got here, things were a little more labor intensive and harder than I imagined. We had some immediate stress with an employee that Cody had to let go stalking him. We also had someone come onto our property (an acre) from the back by tearing some fence down and stealing my tandem bike that we had hidden behind a bush close to our house. Our fault for leaving it out, but who would have expected someone to tear part of our fence down… ugh! These things brought on stress and derailed us from some projects so we could complete projects to protect our home.
We also had other unexpected projects like the girls’ bedroom closet. The closet was mouse poop ridden and thus we gutted it and redid it right away. All of these things are a part of life and in the end, I am still really glad we moved. It meant though that I wasn’t getting any painting done and wasn’t going to have enough inventory for an upcoming show. I felt lost. Was The Pink Moose actually going to happen here?
There were good parts though. Cody and I are closer than we have ever been. The girls are happier and I am loving the time we are spending together. Cody is happier in his job than I have ever seen him in our 8 years together. While our finances aren’t perfect, they are better and we are moving toward being debt free faster than we ever thought possible. All these things are worth so much more!
With more conversations and more getting settled, we realized that The Pink Moose had to change here. If it didn’t, we would go back to working until midnight and every weekend. We would go back to stress. In looking at it from that perspective, Cody asked me, “what parts do you love about The Pink Moose?” I love teaching! I am a teacher by trade and have always loved teaching. Being creative! The outlet that painting gives me emotionally is wonderful and purposeful. My creativity had gotten lost on some level though as I was cranking out pieces for a show or fulfilling custom orders.
So then the question was ‘how could I still be creative?’. I am still figuring that out but here are some answers. I still want to paint but I want to go back to focusing on stained artwork and focus on painting on barnwood. This means I will probably do less furniture. I still love refinishing furniture but I want to paint a piece when it strikes me rather than feeling the pressure to do so for a show. When we started The Pink Moose, I made wreaths and crocheted. I want to do those things again too. In fact, I am working on hats and scarves for the girls now. I have found a new fondness for cooking. Writing blogs has always been something I enjoyed.
What does all this mean for The Pink Moose?! Well, we are still figuring that out. The Pink Moose has evolved so much in the last 4 years that we are letting it evolve again. Here is what I do know…
~ I will teach classes again. Still figuring out what that looks like and where. Probably won’t be consistent with craft and painting classes until next summer. Being transparent!
~ I will be blogging more! My goal is weekly. It will look more like a lifestyle blog. I would love to have you continue on this journey with me. Continuing to write about painting, give DIY’s, and talking about home decor will be a part of the blog. I would also like to write about cooking, our crazy girls, and adventures with a hobby farm (we just added a cat to the family and will be getting chickens in the spring… and I hope to get goats). Thus a lifestyle blog. I am sure you have already seen some of this shift on our Facebook and Instagram feeds. Being totally transparent here!
~ I will be sharing about Essential Oils. They have played a huge role in our life over the last 6 months. This is part of the lifestyle change Cody and I were seeking with moving. We wanted to not only change our financial health but our emotional and physical health. Essential Oils are helping us with all of that! Yes, all of it including the financial part. I am bringing in supplemental income with Essential Oils. This was not why we started using them but instead has been a bonus! Want to know more? Please call, text, message, or email me! I am happy to share anytime.
~ And I will still be painting! I even took my first custom order since moving here, which I am thrilled to do! One of my windmills but 5′ x 3′!
Thank you for being a part of our journey the last 4 years. We truly hope you will continue to be a part of it as we move forward. And if you choose not to, thank you for spending the time with us that you did. We welcome any questions you may have as we continue to be transparent with all of you.