I don’t know how you do it!

I don’t know how you do it!

I don’t know how you do it!

OK! So now that we have put it out there that we are crazy mompreneurs going after our dream…how do we do it all?! We get asked this question about 10 times a week.  This is something we both struggle with here on the daily! Honestly, we never have a good answer. We usually just shrug our shoulders and say, “we have no idea! “ And that’s the honest truth… we literally have no idea how we get it all done. So let’s try to break it down.

  What does it really look like to run a new business, have 4 kids each…oh, and also still hold our original jobs? This is a big question to tackle.   It’s a huge balancing act… Every. Single. Day! Just like every mom, we are always questioning ourselves… are we doing enough? Not only for our business… but first and foremost, for our families? The juggling act never ends. There are groceries, and laundry, never ending cleaning, and driving all over God’s green earth to activities!  Then there are wedding inquiries, and inventory… social media, business plans and employees! We are needed ALL THE TIME…and honestly it can get exhausting. But here’s the thing… THIS is what we are passionate about. We are passionate about our kiddos just as much as we are about making our business ridiculously successful! So we embrace the hustle.  We are busy with a purpose and that makes all the difference.  

  Let’s take a quick second to really think about that…busy with a purpose.  For us, that means thinking through the things we say yes too. Is it worth our time?  How will this benefit us/ our families? Is it going to take us away from another commitment?  What is this opportunity going to teach us? Our time is our most precious commodity. It’s truly how we measure success!  And we know first hand that it’s not guaranteed. And so we cherish it!  

  We are hustling to create a life we love!   We know that we are teaching our kids some pretty important lessons along the way.  We aren’t letting fear and self-doubt creep in…because we know that it can be crippling.  We are teaching them that their passions and talents were given to them for a reason and that doing what gives you joy will lead to success.  

  So let’s get real for a minute… what does this look like practically speaking?  Well…it means setting aside your pride and asking for help. That might seem so simple, but it doesn’t always come naturally to us…that’s for sure!   We look at time more objectively and decide…”is this worth my time?” And if it’s not truly how we want to spend our time…we outsource! (Well…not so much the parenting part…although sometimes that sounds like a good idea!). We play to our strengths and don’t spend too much time on things that we know we just don’t enjoy… Like building a website, setting up e-commerce, SEO, Pinterest… just to name a few.  We get babysitters, we ask Gram if she can do the gymnastics pick up… we send the kids to Papa’s for a little bit after school. And guess what… the kids are happy to have all of these extra people in their life who love them just as much as we do!  

  So sometimes this looks like throwing some chicken nuggets in the microwave… or wearing dirty socks… or leaving the dishes until the next day.   In the grand scheme of things, this is OK! For us, this is so much easier said than done. We’re at our best when things are organized around us.  Neat and tidy makes us feel at peace…but we all know this can’t be reality all the time. So we have to give up a bit of control…let the little things go because we just don’t have room for everything.  Our shoulders may be broad…but we honestly just don’t like carrying heavy things 🙂 So this is something that we continue to work on and remind each other of daily. The truth is, our kids could care less if there are dishes in the sink or crumbs on the floor…what they truly care about is that someone they love is there to get them off the bus and tuck them in at night.

  The bottom line here is- give yourself some grace!   The kids WILL be ok if they miss their veggies or wear mismatched socks… and the business wIll be ok if we respond  to that inquiry tomorrow or delegate that project. Our kids already know that life isn’t perfect… but what we want them to mirror, is how we respond to it. Our reaction to the stress, and the hustle, and the grit is what’s most important. We are absolutely not doing it ALL, we are prioritizing what is most important to us while we create a life we love!

  We would love if you left us a comment with YOUR advice to staying sane!  We want to foster a community of support and encouragement here…because nobody is doing it right ALL THE TIME…just better the next time!


Welcome to OPD!

Welcome to OPD!

Hi!  Welcome!

We are so excited to have you following along on our crazy journey to create the life we love!  This is OUR story…and we’re super proud of staying true to that. It’s so hard in this world to just stay in your lane…to stay focused on YOU and to not compare yourself to your competition and feel less-than amazing.  We promise to always keep it real here…it’s kind of our thing. We don’t believe in sugar-coating…its not helpful…and it rots your teeth! 

So both Dianne and I have 4 kids each…and they are ALL under 12!  Crazy, right? So we get ALL the time…how do you do it all?! While that is a question for an entirely different post, I will say…we don’t…we can’t…and honestly, we don’t want too.  We set boundaries and priorities for ourselves and we hold each other accountable. Family first, period. We give and we take…even when we don’t want to do either. We are a team…we are family.  

It’s so funny to think back on how this whole business started…Dianne and I weren’t really friends…we truly started as business partners.   When we first met at a mutual friend’s photography class, we immediately had one of those conversations that takes you by surprise and you leave knowing it was something special…something providential.  Dianne randomly started sharing her dreams and visions for this business and her plan on how to get there (let’s remember that I was still a total stranger to her!) While I was in total admiration…I thought, “I already have a career…I’m a nurse.”   I had been a nurse at Boston Children’s Hospital for 15 years and had just had my 4th kiddo, so I wasn’t planning on a career change any time soon. However, I had been fueling my creative juices by decorating the homes of friends…and their friends…and I was loving it!  Honestly, the thought of starting a TRUE business seemed daunting and honestly, just too plain hard to do alone.  

Dianne had started OPD in 2015 and first asked me to help her out with a couple of weddings she was doing.  It made total sense, she took care of the flowers and I could help with the design and decor! We quickly saw that we made a great team and were stronger together.  We share the exact same eye for detail and design…which is pretty particular, so we still think this is exceptionally rare! Somehow, Dianne talked me into renting a little space in a consignment shop so that we could display our vignettes and sell our picks.  Wait, did we mention our crazy LOVE for picking?! OK, so it’s more like “pick’in” and it’s basically digging through barns full of junk (i.e. treasures) and turning them into one-of-a-kind pieces for your home. We’ll be sure to take you along on our next pick too!

Our little booth turned out to be so fun!  We were testing the waters and were getting great feedback.  We were just missing our fresh flowers…we needed a place to design and to meet with our brides.  Dianne was on maternity leave with her 2nd baby…it’s truly amazing how much you can get done when you’re on a countdown back to the corporate world!  So one day in the spring of 2018, Dianne decided that she was just going to pop into this little shop in Norfolk that she ALWAYS had her eye on…just to see what it was like on the inside and just “inquire”.  There was no “for rent” sign mind you…she was just being totally nosy! Well wouldn’t you know that the current tenants were moving out at the end of the month and the space would be available for rent! Seriously?!  I mean…what are the chances?  

So here’s the part where we keep it real.  I said, “no”…repeatedly. I felt overwhelmed, stretched too thin…like going to snap, thin!  I started having chest pain…to the point where I had to wear a holter monitor! I just thought…I CAN’T do this!   And that remains the truth…we can’t do this…alone. Dianne and I are pretty big faith people. We love Jesus and we look for the signs.  After some soul searching, I realized that THIS was a sign! Dianne and I were brought together for a purpose…I know that sounds a bit cheesy… but it’s true.  We opened the doors of Only Prettier Design in May of 2018. I am happy to say that I no longer have chest pain because I am confident that I am exactly where I am meant to be.  Dianne welcomed her 3rd and 4th additions to the family in September. While we still struggle to find balance in the chaos… there is a strange peace when you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be!

Thank you for following along on our journey…it truly means the world to us!  We are grateful to serve our community and excited to have this relationship with our supporters that goes beyond the casual smile and “hello”.