Somehow we got…here. Reflections on 2011

Well, here we are. It’s the last week of December.  Leftovers stock the fridge. Recycling bins overflow with a gazillion plastic and cardboard pieces. New toys clutter the floor. And hopefully, you are enjoying some lazy mornings in your PJ’s with your children like I am this morning.
While 2011 comes to a close, I think it’s natural to look back to the past year and look ahead to the New Year. It always gives me a desire to look back and the memories our family has made. I’m working on a 2011 photo book (no time for scrapbooking this year!) and my girls and I will work on a photo collage for our Christmas book of all the beautiful faces we received on Christmas cards.
 I find myself also looking back at the past year in terms of progress for our growing little family business, Milestones & Miracles.  In a few weeks (if the shipping gods smile favorable on us), we will receive 1000 units of our first product, 1-2-3 Just Play With Me.  In a nutshell, it is a decorative boutique style box that houses 75 large cards. The cards pair milestones expected at each age with interactive, creative play ideas in each of the 5 areas of infant/toddler development, along with some reference material pertinent to parents.  (More info at our website: When I sit still for a minute and realize that this “dream project” as we originally called it, is on it’s way to us, it sort of blows my mind.
My best friend and I authored it and somehow we moved from a simple conversation beachside in Nags Head, NC that started with our shared realization that new parents are often too tired to read “the baby books” but want to learn about their baby. In addition, we realized that there are numerous products on development OR play ideas but nothing we knew about that paired them together.  And in our minds, nothing can be more enjoyable than parents knowing why their children are doing certain things and feeling empowered to relate to them through play. It’s said that play is the work of childhood, so why not make something that is easy to use, simple, and helps parents learn about how their babies “work,” while giving them fresh ideas and confidence to jump in and enjoy and bond? 
Sure, why not! When I look back now, we ourselves had infants sleeping in Boppy Pillows in a beach tent and were juggling our daughters and work and home life.  What were we thinking?! Somehow we moved from idea to research and writing, to proofreading and more proofreading, to finding and working with a terrific graphic designer, to learning about copywriting, and printing, and mass production.  We “non-techy” therapists learned from supportive friends about websites and blogs.  We talked to other small business owners about the practical sides of web sales. We reached out to leaders in early intervention for advice and opinions. And somehow, here we are. Waiting (impatiently) for 1000 copies of our vision to arrive.
It makes me laugh to think we did this with kids in tow (asking dreamily if this would be in Target (the biggest of dreams for them!) and supportive husbands by our sides. Life moved on with a household move, the news of a new baby to come (not me!) and two of our children starting kindergarten. In reflection, it seems overwhelming to me, but in reality it was not. I believe that when you are passionate about something and have a vision, things eventually fall into place. That’s what happened with us. We believe wholeheartedly that parents are the best teachers of children and that regular and real interaction (the kind that often makes messes or noise and is sprinkled with hugs) let’s babies and toddlers know they can trust and rely on the big people in their lives. That’s why we did this.  We wanted to encourage parents to jump in and enjoy each milestone because they do pass so quickly. When our focus stayed on this vision, and with the many generous people in our lives who offered advice, help, proofreading, and prayers – we somehow got….here.
So, at the end of 2012 Lacy and I thank you all. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your support. Thank you for encouragement. And thanks to those who believed in our “dream project.”  As soon as our shipment hits our door (I really still can’t imagine what 1,000 of these boxes will look like!), we will let you know! Sometimes, the hardest part of a process like this is stopping all the work and planning, inhaling, and waiting to see how it turns out!  I don’t know if we made all the right choices, but we’ll never know, until we try, right? So we wish the same excitement and anticipation of something good for you in 2012…. that you will take the risk with whatever your “dream project” is right now.  New job? Dream Trip? Baby? Reuniting with old friends? Learning to play and instrument or sew? Running your first race? Or maybe simply slowing down and being fully present with your family? DREAM BIG! TAKE THE RISK! ENJOY!!

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