Hello again guys! You may have noticed a bit of an absence for a while there. We went on a bit of a hiatus over the summer, so thanks for sticking with us and jumping back on board. It’s been a season of immense change and we’re excited to share some of it with you now. You may have also noticed we’re looking pretty snazzy these days with a new layout and a new URL www.simplegoodnessblog.com. This snazziness is just a hint of what’s ahead for us and we’re both very excited to be moving Simple Goodness forward and reconnecting with you, our readers and friends.
Last Winter and Spring, we were on a blogging role. We were loving hunkering down at home during our maternity leaves with our babies and writing about our adventures in the kitchen, the garden, the nurseries and out on the farm. We connected with new readers all over the world (hello Swedes! We see you!) which was crazy to us considering that this blog began very humbly as a way to share updates from 3 sisters with our family and friends. It was also really inspiring. We wondered what else we could do with Simple Goodness and the wheels in our brains were turning quickly all the way up to the end of our maternity leaves.
Reality hit when we returned to work. In addition to this blog, we both work fulltime jobs in Human Resources departments at tech companies and were commuting to work in the city. Add to that our home renovation projects, menagerie of animals to care for, family time, and busier and busier little ones rummaging through kitchen cabinets and feeding the dog God knows what, and our time was seriously squeezed. Blogging slowly fell lower on the list of priorities as the days grew longer and then stalled completely when we reached an impasse. After a fruitful year of writing and sharing our lives and pursuit of simple goodness with you all, our blog’s hosting site reached its capacity. We faced the decision to invest in and expand the blog or let it go. Meanwhile over the summer we were sharing a nanny and working from home together a couple of days a week and began to think about a new business (in between working really really hard on our actual work, of course!)
We compared our work situations and some of the notes we got from our readers in response to Venise’s blog post “Hi Ho Hi Ho, It’s Back to Work I Go” and identified a need for greater attention to retaining female employees in high tech workplaces (and everywhere, really) post maternity and family leaves. (If you find this corporate HR tech stuff super boring stay with me, I am nearly done.) Tech companies pay an arm and a leg trying to attract female engineers to their workplaces only to later disappoint and alienate them with their lackluster response to the realities of a working mom’s life. We spent a considerable amount of time researching how to start an HR consulting business. We wanted to train managers on how to build supportive workplace cultures for parents. However, I am blogging right now instead of beating the pavement to drum up clientele. There is a good reason for that- Venise and I realized that starting such a business from scratch would require exactly the kind of workaholic behavior we’re trying to avoid, and we’d remain entrenched in an industry we’d eventually like to move away from. While we are both VERY appreciative of our jobs, I think it is the dream of every small farmer to one day make a living from their land and it is definitely always been a dream of ours to follow in our family’s footsteps and own our own businesses. So while there may be more on that subject to come, because it is definitely a passion area for us, we determined it wasn’t where we wanted to invest our very scarce time.
I was also coming to the conclusion that sitting in traffic, on airport tarmacs, and in hotels across the country away from my family wasn’t where I wanted to invest my time. While I was lucky to have a supportive work team and was working from home half time, I knew that I needed a role that didn’t require frequent business travel as mine did. So, after a few months of agonizing (and I seriously mean up “all night tossing and turning until finally you wake up and go downstairs and lay out the yoga mat and do a few “camel” poses to clear your heart and mind and then when that still doesn’t quite cut it, eat ice cream from the carton” style agonizing) I resigned. Luckily, I have some amazing people on my work team who empathized with my situation and wanted to keep me nearby so I was able to take on a new role as a contractor for my same team, working 100% from home.
Venise continued with her previous work schedule, joining me in the office in her barn 2 days per week while our nanny and the kids played outside under the gradually waning cherry tree. Our office small talk continued. We’re perpetual dreamers and schemers, always have been, and we kept coming back to this blog. We questioned whether our commitments would allow us to connect with people in the way we hoped to and we questioned what it was we wanted to say. Finally, we came back to the beginning. We decided to apply our skills, passion and technical acumen to the Simple Goodness dream with renewed vigor and plans for expansion.
Thus, the site you’re seeing today. Pretty, right? If you think so, please share it with your friends! We moved to a new host, paid for a vanity url, and added something called a framework to our blog so in addition to a modern and simple layout the users see, we’re rocking a pretty powerful backend with ample storage (can I get a “woop woop!” from all my ladies with powerful backends with ample storage?! Haha) We also have plans for a store featuring the diverse work of our ridiculously talented family members (welders, wood workers, crafters and such) and a menu of planned events to take place at the farm for you to enjoy with us. As great as a tool for connection as the blog has been, we’re really good looking in person and would love to see you all. Ha! Just kidding. But seriously, we love to play hostess and hope to share the educational and fun farm experience with a new generation of families, so we’ll be launching some Simple Goodness Events this year.
This blog began as an homage to our grandparents and the rest of the “golden generation”, whose stories we love to listen to and whose lives we have always admired. We seek to live a little bit more like them each day with the decisions we make and the values we keep, even when those decisions may differ from our neighbors and friends. We want to live a life with purpose, with intention, and with loads of love. We want to savor the small moments and the messes and notice the blessings around us and let those be enough. We want to collect people and experiences and teach our children to think little of things. We try to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible because we love the history and romance of old sh*! and Walmart parking lots make us very grumpy. We are optimists and dreamers and live by this verse from Phillipines 4:8: “finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” We’re also pragmatists, who work hard and seek to keep our roots deeply grounded.
At her memorial our Poppi described our Nanny as “simple goodness.” Theirs was a life of handwritten recipe cards, pinched pocketbooks and knee worn church pews. They loved one another steadfastly and kept family and God first. We are here at Simple Goodness in search of the same. Through the blog, farm, store and events we hope to share this credo with you and yours. So THANK YOU to all who have been with us through this season of change lending your support! There will be more change up ahead and we can’t wait to go through it with you.
(…and I promise there will be a lot more pictures of babies and baby animals in the posts ahead because HOLY COW this was a lot of words all about us. Here you go, here is one to tide you over. You deserve it for making it this far 🙂