Living, Learning & Looking Ahead


Exotic Fruits (Buddha Hand, Kiwano, Pepino, and Rambutan) 1-1-13

This past year has been a lot of fun. We have learned and grown a lot, both individually and as a family. While we are still in our sticks and bricks and far from having a self-sustaining family business (at least it seems like it), we are moving towards both of these goals and we are further ahead than we were last year at this time. And that is what really matters most to me….making progress, moving forward.

We had a friend come and help us with the electricity on Liahona and we finished up a lot of the conversion. I would say that Liahona is around 75% done and the other 25% is not going to be done until we sell our home and it warms up a little (or I can find a large heated garage to work out of). Gypsy Essentials has been a great experience and often enjoyable, despite the fact that we haven’t made any money, after all of the time we have spent and money we invested up front. I have learned a lot and I am in the process of figuring out which aspects I will be keeping in our business and which I will be letting go of. Because it isn’t our main source of income yet, figuring it all out has been more fun than stressful. I am hoping to have it begin generating some sort of income before we head out on the road. Crafting for a living is extremely depressing some days, everyone thinks they can make it for less than what you are selling it for and people rarely take into consideration the hours of frustration and trial & error that have gone into the final product. I have had to lower prices on some items to the point that I am not even making $1 an hour….and that is not very motivating. LOL Then, there are other days, when I throw caution to the wind and decide to try something completely out of the ordinary and hope that someone else will totally relate to what I am trying to say with my creative side….maybe even want to buy a piece of art. It is kind of crazy, but I finally feel that I am being true to myself, through my efforts to share who I am, with my crafty side. I have a lot of ideas and I am excited for this year!

For 2012, I chose to go without makeup (again) and without a brassiere (my mom would have fallen off her chair, had she just read that), as a way of making a statement that I am so much more than my body or my face. It was so liberating. I can’t even begin to tell you how free I have felt and how much this has enabled me to love me, all of me. I have been really focusing on who I am, as a child of God, as an individual, a woman, a wife. This next year, I am going to go even deeper and focus more on myself as a mom, a mentor, and a small business owner. I also want to work on giving service to others. I know that when I am serving others, I feel complete. I just need to commit to the time and effort and the rest will all fall in place.

I also spent the year without processed sugar (well technically, I was only 90% without processed sugars, as I didn’t keep track of sauces or condiments after the first few weeks of complete insanity). We didn’t keep any granulated/brown/powdered sugar in the house. We even stopped using agave because I read about the similarities to corn syrup. We have a 5 gallon bucket of raw honey that we all have learned how to implement into recipes. It has been a valuable learning process for the kids, as well as myself. Overall, we were very healthy this past year, thanks to the challenge I gave myself. I explored eating more raw and plant-based foods and realized that our family will do just fine with going even more vegetarian. This year is going to be about making more meals at home and enjoying the process of cooking and baking together.

This past year, has been a year of discovery for us, as well. Both Aaron and I began researching autism and Asperger’s Syndrome and finally found explanations for so many different aspects of our personalities and our lives that made no sense, whatsoever, before. We are definitely both Aspies and so are many of our children. And we LOVE that about our family. 🙂

So, what is on the horizon for 2013?

We are still planning on selling our home and traveling in a bus.

I am still going to be running Gypsy Essentials, but I will be moving towards helping others to get in touch with their own creativity without spending a lot of money. I will still be selling my crafts, but they will be more unique than what I was doing. I also have plans of teaching classes, creating tutorials, and offering patterns for several of the items Gypsy Essentials sells. I think it will be fun!

We are going to begin our studies on America (that technically began in November, with the election process and the landing of the Pilgrims). I look forward to going deep into our roots and eventually even traveling all over this beautiful country and seeing history firsthand.

We are going to take up Spanish and Guitar (for reals this year….I am serious, for reals).

We are going to find more ways for our family to serve each other and those outside our home.

We are going to give away a lot of our STUFF, sell a few items, and store what we feel we can’t give up. I am not a zealot when it comes to getting rid of all of our stuff, but I am also not going to be a hoarder.

We are going to be more organized. I am finally going to complete my 8 Week Meal Plan and stick with it for the entire year. I am going to finish making our family cook book. I am going to do my life interviews with my parents and Aaron’s. I am going to make sure I have all of our important documents together and copies of these documents in another location. I am going to go through boxes and thoroughly organize all of our stuff from the past 37 years. I am making better use of my time and have begun looking at my time as a valuable comodity….not to be wasted.

I am going to be keeping our processed sugars to a minimum and will be attempting to cut out fast food all together. I am also going to be walking every day, even if it is just for a half hour on the treadmill. I am also going to be diligent in learning and mastering yoga and Pilates.

And we are going to be trying new things. Tonight, in honor of trying new things, we tried Kiwano, Buddha Hand, Pepino, and Rambutan (pictured above)….all new for all of us. Aaron made Gumbo (pictured below) for the first time in our marriage, which is also something new. And it was absolutely A. Maz. Ing. I know he has a lot of plans for cooking this year…..and I am sooooo excited for that. He also said that he is going to be learning more about the computer/business end of Gypsy Essentials, which I am thrilled about!!!

As we all shared our goals for the next year and talked about our dreams, it made me realize what an important part of life this really is, setting goals and following dreams. I am going to make sure that I support all of my kids and Aaron in following through with their goals for the year…..and I look forward to seeing where the year leads.

Until then, I will be living life to the fullest, learning from my mistakes and experiences, and looking ahead with purpose.

Aaron's Gumbo 1-1-13

Pura Vida!


2 responses »

  1. LOVE! LOVE!! LOVE!!! We so enjoyed our visit with your family this past summer and look forward to seeing you in 2013!! There is a festival we will be attending in OR the latter part of July… perhaps Gypsy Essentials should be there?! Let’s talk!! ((HUGS)) n prayers… –c–

  2. Ahh, thanks, Carolyn. We enjoyed our time with you, as well. Ryan saw your picture on my facebook page today and commented about you reading her stories every night you were here….and how much she loved you (and Trixie, of course). Would love to hear more….yes, let’s talk. 🙂

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