Back in November, I started instagramming hints about an upcoming Chickadee announcement. Then I started posting regularly on Facebook, started encouraging my readers and audience to sign up for my newsletter, and then even launched my blog. All during that time, my goal was to launch my brand new website at the conclusion of my 20-week launch countdown! I figured that if I set a realistic goal with that much time to prepare, there was no way I could miss it. This was a strategic, smart, plan that would be hard to fail at.

Photo by  Marie Violet Photography

And honestly, I wasn't that far off from succeeding. But then, as you might have noticed, I went dark. No posts, no updates, no hints as to what I was working on. I had originally planned to be quiet for a week and then launch as a surprise and a way to generate some excitement about coming back "online." That would have been the last week in March.

But, life happens. And today I want to share with you what my life looks like behind the scenes - and what that's looked like for the past 2 months. 

See, I'd been busy working on this new site since the middle of March. I wrote the content back in February, and had a sense of how I wanted it to flow. It was just a matter of taking the time to get it formatted and organized in the right way. Instead of working on it on Easter weekend, I celebrated my sister's birthday, helped lead worship at my church, and hosted an Easter lunch at our house. And figured I'd tackle everything the next week. 

That Monday morning, I got a text from my aunt letting me know my grandma was in the hospital. At first, while I was alarmed, I didn't think things were incredibly serious. But by that afternoon, I had packed a bag and all of my stuff for at least a day or two trip and headed up the highway. I'm so grateful for the prompting on my heart - we said goodbye to my grandmother that night, as we lost her suddenly and as a complete shock. As I look back, it's a miracle that we got to say goodbye at all. 

I'll share much more about my incredible grandmother another time, but today I'm focusing on what that did to me in the last month. It completely shook up my world. Things that were a priority before simply didn't matter anymore. Family and friends that I hadn't spoken to in years became confidants and a shoulder to cry on. Social media for my business wasn't even a thought. But, my clients who were getting married in a week absolutely were. 

While I was reeling, and planning my grandmother's funeral (honestly, the opportunity to plan such an important occasion was an outlet for me), I was also planning weddings for my clients, particularly the one that was the following week! So the website really took a back-burner. Then, it was adjusting back to a regular routine, which we still don't really have. After that, it was focusing on big priority items for work, taking care of things and getting caught up at home, and taking a much needed real vacation at the beach.

We did a lot in the last month or two. My sister's birthday at the zoo. An Easter lunch and celebration at our house. My grandma's funeral in Richmond (which was basically a family reunion with little sleep). My first wedding of the season. Booking 2 more weddings this year. A beach vacation. Vet visits. Adult things (writing our wills and purchasing life insurance - I call it "adulting well"). Singing. My brother-in-law's birthday. Accepting a promotion at work. Taking the time to grieve and be sad as needed. And...

LAUNCHING THIS WEBSITE. It's here, it's finally here. 

But I don't feel like jumping up and down. It's beautiful and it's all I've wanted it to be. But it also holds a bit of sadness for me - this is another door closing, another item off my to-do list that was there before the grief set in. Moving on and letting go can be hard when it means leaving a piece of you behind so you can grow into someone else. 

The website really launched at some point between midnight and 8 a.m. on Saturday. Quietly. Discreetly. I love it. I hope you do too. I'm back, working on updates and getting back into a routine. It may be a while before I'm posting consistently again, but I hope it's not too far away. I have so much to share with you! And some incredible photos from wonderful photographers I've had the pleasure of working with. 

Patience. It's all in the timing. I can't rush myself with this and I refuse to. If it's too much some weeks, it'll just have to step aside. My health (mental and physical), my marriage, and my responsibilities and priorities in my every day life rank higher than what's online. It's hard to be "on" all the time. It's hard to be vulnerable and not take things personally on here. And it's hard to feel the passion to share so many details all the time. 

This is what the life of a small business owner looks like. Of someone who's juggling more than one high priority item at a time. Of a wife. Of a business woman. Of your friend. I'm just like everyone else, and this is just a glimpse into how it looks like I do it all. Hint: I don't. 

Before you head out, please check out the new "About" and "Brides" sections on the page! They're full of great information for you to learn more about me, Chickadee, and my brides! Drop a line and say hi, too! I would love to hear from you :)

Welcome to the new Chickadee, chickadee!

~ Kelsey