She’s All In.

Oh, hey there!

Did you think I had forgotten about you?

I haven’t. It’s just that you, like my dear sourdough starter Merv, had to be pushed to the back [of the refrigerator] while I tried to survive my life these last few months. Luckily after I fed Merv a couple of times last week he produced a beautiful loaf of sourdough bread.

I’m hoping you all have as much patience with me as Merv did.

You see, a lot has changed these last few months…

Two of my all-time favorite guys <3 Photo cred:  Shaye Fitzgerald  of  PHOCO

Two of my all-time favorite guys <3
Photo cred: Shaye Fitzgerald of PHOCO

I’m Officially “Mrs.” Ann Scheufler Kent

But that feels weird, so please just call me Ann.

Or Master Scheufler. Because I’m changing my middle name to my maiden name and I only have a Master’s degree, so you shouldn’t call me doctor.

Yes, it’s true: I’m now married to this phenomenal guy who has supported and kept me sane during this challenging, exciting year. And I’m officially a step-mom to the BEST 10-year-old I’ve ever met. He’s almost as good at rock-climbing as I am and legitimately one of my favorite humans.

Ya’ll, I am the luckiest.

I’m Officially Self-Employed

My last day with my “real” job was July 19, 2019. RIP, giant healthcare corporation.

Now my “real” job is in my home office, where I can wear sweatpants while I write meal plans and cooking dinner doubles as work time when I’m testing recipes.

Oh, and it’s way easier to take time off work to pick up the 10-year-old from school when his dad has a meeting. I can drive to Kansas at the drop of a hat if wheat harvest starts early. I can have lunch with my husband (!) without asking someone else’s permission.

I mean, I’m also a bit panicked about how (not “if,” mind you) I’m going to make this work. It’s not uncommon to catch me at my computer at 9:30 pm writing recipes or responding to client queries if someone isn’t here to redirect my focus. I’m using my problem-solving skills more than I ever have before.

I am loving this life!

My new family: Poppy // new sister! Jen // step-son Jonah // husband (!) Patrick // (uh, me) // Mom // Dad Photo cred:  Shaye Fitzgerald  of  PHOCO

My new family: Poppy // new sister! Jen // step-son Jonah // husband (!) Patrick // (uh, me) // Mom // Dad
Photo cred: Shaye Fitzgerald of PHOCO

I’m Still Figuring out my Rocks

Things look different today than they did when I wrote my New Year’s post about Big Rocks. There were a few months (ahem: May, June, July) when work took up two of my three “big rock” places. And as soon as I quit one of my two jobs, I planned and took a week camping/road trip with my guys and then came home to plan a wedding. I was ex.haus.ted.

You know what I learned when I hit wall after wall during those months? I learned what I was doing was unsustainable. If two of my three big rocks are as draining as working 60-70 hours per week, my joy goes down. And when my joy goes down, my patience decreases. When my patience decreases and I’m at the end of my rope, quality time with people I love is sacrificed.

I pushed hard this summer because I knew it was temporary, but I couldn’t have done it much longer without hurting the important relationships in my life. This has been eye-opening to me. I know people who work 60+ hours per week and do it all the time, for years.

I know sometimes you have to do this in order to make ends meet. But if you don’t have to, don’t do it. If you overextend yourself, something eventually has to give. And if it’s not work that gives, it will be your health, your sanity, or your family.

Now, for the first time in months (or years? It sure feels like it…) I have time. I have time to go to the golf course with my husband and father-in-law. I have time to go out for dinner with my friend I haven’t seen in weeks. I have time to make dinner (and snacks) for the hungry 10-year-old. The only enemy now to my joy is my own guilt.

Am I working hard enough?
Am I setting my goals where the should be?
I’m not stressed… should I be pushing myself harder?

I’ve lived in this state of stress for so long it’s hard to know how to lay it down. I’m not very good, but I’m practicing. I’m practicing relishing the moment, sitting in quiet, and enjoying this life.

Photo cred:  Shaye Fitzgerald  of  PHOCO

Photo cred: Shaye Fitzgerald of PHOCO

I’m All In.

I’m going to be honest: when I stop and think about it, this year has been freaking scary.

Getting married? Scary.
Building a house? Scary.
Quitting a job with a stable income? Freaking scary.

But you guys, if I had never done anything scary, I wouldn’t be here today.

If I hadn’t traipsed off to Spain by myself for a semester abroad in college, I wouldn’t speak Spanish. If I hadn’t recovered after the embarrassing moment of forgetting my speech during a high school performance, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to speak at a national conference. If I hadn’t decided to use my previous marriage as an opportunity to learn, find myself, and become a better partner, I wouldn’t be prepared for the relationship I’m in today.

So here I am, stepping off the ledge, ready to jump at any opportunity in front of me.

Thanks for joining me on this crazy journey; I hope you continue to seek joy with me.

Photo cred:  Shaye Fitzgerald  of  PHOCO

Photo cred: Shaye Fitzgerald of PHOCO