My sweet, sweet boys.

We are up late at Sweet Melissa’s, but we are happy, and loving every minute of these sleepless nights!  If you have been keeping up with us, you know we are in the middle of packing up our home.  We have started packing up extra furniture and filling boxes.  We have secured a new place to live, and if all goes well, we start moving into our new place next weekend.  I am fairly certain I am in denial.  Complete denial.  If you read my post about my home sweet home, you know I’m struggling with leaving it.  I know everything will be alright though because at the the end of the day, I know that my home sweet home is where my husband and boys are, not the four walls surrounding us.

In the process of packing up, we took down the top bunk of the boys’ bed (which we never let them sleep on – they are not quite old enough) and we also took down our second son’s toddler bed.  As of this week, our two oldest are sleeping in the same bed.  They are absolutely loving sleeping in the same bed.  Neither of them have ever once shed a tear about us removing the toddler bed or the cool top bunk that turned the bottom bunk into a fort for my oldest son.  They are truly happy about sleeping in the same bed.

My inspiration for this post came tonight as I went into their room to check on them. They are both hugging little teddy bears my Mom recently gave them, and they are snuggling with each other.  They have their arms wrapped around each other.  It is the cutest.thing.ever.  Being the paranoid Mom that I am, I did reach over one to cover the other, and that in turn caused them to turn over a little bit so the sweet snuggling moment was over.  But, that’s alright because I had the opportunity to see them like that for just a couple of seconds, and it was absolutely heartwarming.

When I was pregnant with my second son, we kept telling my oldest that we were growing a playmate for him.  I never realized how important they were going to be to each other and how much they would love each other.  My middle child follows his older brother around and has been mirroring him from the moment he could start moving on his own.  They love playing together, and they talk to each other sometimes like they are grown men.  I love listening in on their conversations when they do not know I am listening.  Now, I can’t honestly write this post without admitting they are not the perfect little boys I have been describing all of the time.  Yes, there are moments when they fight, but as quickly as those moments occur, they pass just as fast.

My youngest son is starting to interact with my two oldest and it is the sweetest thing to watch.  He is just ten months old, but he wants to be with them, and he loves them.  He truly loves them.  He watches every move they make and he just laughs and laughs.  He hugs them and his sweet little eyes close when they hug him and give him kisses.  It is as though he is closing his eyes and taking in that sweet moment of love.  I think he is an old soul already.

I look at these three little blessings and I realize that my husband and I have had the great joy of creating our own little family, but more importantly, we’ve created a family that will go on when we are no longer on this Earth.  We’ve created three boys who will support each other, love each other, and hopefully be there for each other for a long time.  We’ve created brothers, who will become best friends, best men at each others’ weddings, and uncles to each others’ kids.  It fills my heart and eases my mind to know they will always have each other.

I love my sweet, sweet boys.  Moms have a love for our children that never ceases.  I am proud of every little thing they do.  I am watching my third son do new things and say new words every day, and even though I’ve experienced these new beginnings with my older sons, they never get old, and I am just as proud of my little man and his new discoveries as I was when my two older sons experienced the same things.

I celebrate my sons every day.  If you have perused my blog and checked out 365 Days of Sweetness, you know that I vowed to take at least one photo of each of my sons every day of the first year of their lives.  I am committed to this goal, and despite my busy life, I have missed just a handful of days out of the past three and a half years.  I am proud of this feat, but more importantly, I hope that my sons look back on these photos and experience happiness and joy as they watch themselves transform from newborns to toddlers.

I am so lucky to be their mom. They are precious, smart, sweet, and perfect.  Above all, they are my greatest success story.

To check out my “Photo a Day” project, click here.

T, R, and O – I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always.  As long as I’m living, my babies you’ll be.

To stay up-to-date with very latest from Sweet Melissa’s, including our sweet family, adventures, and to earn coupons for candle purchases, please join us on Facebook.  To see our products, please visit our store.  You can also find us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!  Thank you so kindly for reading Sweet Words.  We sincerely appreciate the time you spent here.  Have a sweet day!

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Home sweet home.

Hi sweet friends!  I am getting so anxious and excited for our June launch!  We are mixing, testing, smelling, and designing like crazy and our Signature Collection Candles are going to be exquisite.  I am in love with them and sure hope the rest of the world will be too.  This is such an exciting time, yet is also a time full of anxiety and a bit of stress.  Not only have we launched Sweet Melissa’s, but we have also made the decision to sell our house and build a new one.

We thankfully accepted a contract on our house after being on the market just three and a half months, and if all goes well, we hand over the keys to the new owners on June 14th.  I can’t say I’m excited to leave my house.  We were first-time home buyers eight years ago and we are selling to first-time home buyers.  We have experienced so much in this house…decorating and re-decorating just about every room (sorry about changing my mind so much sweetie), planning our wedding, career changes, love, arguments, the passing of our sweet dog Kaya, the birth of our three precious boys, Christmas parties, birthday parties, family dinners and gatherings, watching our two oldest sons take their first steps in the family room…

I have so many memories here that I will carry with me forever. I remember anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first son.  Being Type-A, I had my husband paint the nursery immediately upon finding out I was pregnant.  I chose a neutral green because I couldn’t even wait to determine the gender of the baby.  Before he was born, I remember sitting in that nursery looking around and being so thankful that I had been given the opportunity to carry a sweet baby.  I remember sitting in it happily looking forward to rocking my sweet boy to sleep, giving him baths in his little blue whale tub, and playing with him in the floor in front of his crib. Looking back to those moments, I cannot believe how much my life has changed.  Three and a half years later, our family has grown from two to five, we have experienced major career changes, additions and losses of sweet family members, and everything in between.  We are completely different people than we were when we bought our house eight years ago.  Just about everything in our lives has changed.  But, one thing has remained constant.  One thing has provided us shelter from the storms of life (and literally from thunderstorms), has provided us a place of comfort during difficult times, and a place of celebration during happy times – our home.

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I am having a hard time accepting that I only have three more weeks to live here.  I am finding myself second-guessing our decision to sell our home.  I am hoping the new owners will take as good of care of it as we have.  I hope they create new memories and keep these walls alive with happiness and love.  I feel like I am saying goodbye to an old friend.  My home has stood by me, silently and strong, while the rest of my life has changed around me.  If these walls could talk, they would tell me to stop stressing out so much, to not worry about keeping them clean and to enjoy life, and to stop being sad about moving on.

We are staying in our town, so chances are I will be driving by this house a lot.  I am always going to think of it as my home.  Yes, I am going to be nosy and drive by and see how the new owners are taking care of it.  Will they water the peony my Mom bought for me and watch it come to life every year with beautiful blooms?  Will they let the birds nest in the plants on the front porch and enjoy nature’s beauty and the sounds of baby birds being born?  Will they sit by the fireplace in the winter and enjoy time together with each other in the family room?  Will they decorate the yard for Christmas and stand out in the street in the freezing cold admiring their handiwork?  Will they invite family and friends over and celebrate birthdays and holidays with love and fellowship?  Will they appreciate all of the love and time we spent over the past eight years putting our mark on this place, our home?

I had no idea I would be so emotional when the time came to leave our home.  I should be excited.  So many homes stay on the market for so long without even a look. Although I am sad, I am also grateful.  We set out to sell our home and build one that better suits our growing family, and we’re halfway to accomplishing that goal.  We are lucky and blessed to be able to do this.  However, my home is a part of me.  It will always be.

To my home, thank you for the past eight years.  You have been a place of comfort, happiness, joy, and even sadness at times.  You have been here silently taking care of us, and I sincerely thank you.  You will always be my home sweet home.

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To stay up-to-date with very latest from Sweet Melissa’s, including our sweet family, adventures, and to earn coupons for candle purchases, please join us on Facebook.  To see our products, please visit our store.  You can also find us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!  Thank you so kindly for reading Sweet Words.  We sincerely appreciate the time you spent here.  Have a sweet day!

Do what you love…and the rest will follow…

There are so many variations of this quote on the web… “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” “Do what you love, and the money will follow,” “Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.”  Although I think these quotes are great, I only halfway believe them, and here’s why…

I consider myself lucky.  I am currently doing three things I love.  First and foremost, I am a mom to three wonderful little boys who are the light in my life.  I love taking care of them.  But, I will say, it does involve some work.  (Picture this if you will.  I had to work from home one day due to the boys being sick.  As I was speaking on a conference call to twenty of my colleagues, I was also feeding my baby, changing his diaper, looking in horror as he accidentally smeared his hand through his own poo and wiped it on the nursery wall, cleaning said nursery wall, and subsequently giving him a bath…and I’m proud to say, I never missed a beat on that call.  Thank God for the mute button.  So yeah, raising kids…there’s a little work involved.)  Second, I have an awesome full-time position as a Director of Enrollment for a private University, and I love what I do.  I have the opportunity to change lives every day at work.  How could that not rock, right?  But, it does take a lot of work, and I can’t say it is fun every moment of every day.  Finally, I have this new venture, which I am just smitten with.  I love it!  But, like anything else worth doing, it takes some work.

Since graduating with my Bachelors degree in 2003, I have dreamed about owning my own business every.single.day.  I have a forty-five minute commute, and have called myself countless times to remind my future self of all of the wonderful ideas I thought of during my commute, only to get so caught up in life a few hours later that I deleted the voice message.  I have been continually searching for some idea that would be the next best thing out there that would generate millions.  I’ve researched ideas and even contacted a few people about them, but have never moved forward with anything.  Until now, the magical ideas I’ve come up with have all seemed impossible, forced, and too time-consuming to be worth it.

I have always loved scented candles and sweet smelling things (perfumes, body and room sprays, you name it).  When I started working at sixteen, I purchased car insurance, gas, clothes, and scented candles.  My family started to notice my love for them and would give them to me as presents each year for birthdays and Christmas.  When I bought my first home eight years ago, I bought even more, and received even more than that as gifts.  Here’s the kicker with my obsession…they make my husband sneeze!  He has allergic reactions to scented items, and candles are no exception.  As the years have passed, and our family has grown, my money has shifted toward my children, and I have realized it is probably not fair to light candles and force my husband to be around them just because I love them.  So, my candles have found their way into dark drawers and closets, and only come out during special occasions. My husband has made several jokes about filing away candles in our “tiny candle drawer.”  We have an entire dresser drawer full of scented tarts, tea-lites, and tiny votive candles.  To an outsider, it’s probably a little weird.

In January of this year, the concept for one of our Signature Collection Candles came to me during a random conversation with my mother-in-law.  I knew it was a good idea and I knew it was a candle that I would love, and that other candle connoisseurs like me would love, but I tabled it.  Life is busy.  I have a husband, three kids, a full-time career, friends and family, a house on the market, and a million other things to do.  As much as I tried to keep my idea under the table far from sight, it kept nagging at me.  I thought about it every day.  I knew it was good idea.  I never once thought it would make millions, or any money at all really. I just knew it was a good idea that was not on the market.  Still, I ignored it.  Then, one day in early March, I couldn’t stand it any longer, and I decided to learn how to make my own candles.  I made a quick decision, did a little research on the internet, and drove to the store.  And then drove back to the store…again…and again.  Four trips and one internet purchase later, I had everything I needed to start making candles.  And then, I put the bags of supplies in a corner.  And they sat…and sat some more…until one day in late March the nagging was getting too loud for me to ignore it any longer.  I fired up the stove and made my first candle.  It turned out perfectly.  I couldn’t believe it, and neither could my husband.  He said, “Turns out you are pretty good at making candles.  Who knew?”  I certainly did not know.  I was thrilled, and pumped.  All of sudden, the creative juices started, and I was off to the store to buy more supplies to make more candles.  I hand poured candles in my kitchen for a few weeks and loved it!  I was looking forward to giving my homemade candles away as gifts.  Then, I thought, why couldn’t I try and sell them?  Maybe someone else out there in this big world would love my idea as much as I do.  I thought, this will be easy, I’ll just set up a store and make candles in my kitchen.  Then, one Saturday as I was melting my wax and adding fragrance oils, I heard my husband start sneezing.  And then, my oldest son started, and before long I was sneezing too.  The oils were too much.  I realized at that point that unless I moved my candle-making outside, running a candle “factory” out of my home was not realistic.  I was thwarted for a few days.  I thought, “Well, that was fun.  Oh well.”  I thanked my husband for playing along with me, and apologized to him and our bank account for spending the money on my candle supplies.

Then, on one of my long commutes to work, the nagging started again, and I couldn’t shake it.  It was annoying me right down to my core.  (That’s probably how my poor husband feels whenever I start nagging him.  Sorry about that sweetie.)  That night, I did some research, made some contacts to candle makers, and have not looked back.  From that point forward, I felt like I stepped on a train, and it has been rolling ever since.  I am surprising myself with my own determination and creativity.  I am working…and hard at that.  I am doing what I love, but it is taking a lot of work, and a lot of sleep-deprived nights.  But, I don’t mind.  I am truly excited to get on my computer and work, talk with my manufacturer and toss ideas back and forth with her, and take my ideas from paper to reality.  I LOVE this!

I am so proud of my candle collections.  They are unique concepts inspired by events and people in my life.  I believe candles are one of life’s little inexpensive pleasures that can change the entire look and feel of a space, and more importantly, a mood.  When I close my eyes and take the time to take in the sweet aromatic notes of a really great candle, I am taken to a time or place that makes me happy.  When I light a candle that emits refreshing beach fragrances, I am reminded of summer vacations with my grandparents and of surf-fishing and shell-hunting with my late Granddaddy early in the morning before everyone else came to the beach.  When I light a candle that smells like spicy cinnamon and balsam, I’m reminded of Christmases with my Great Grammie and Popa when the entire family was in town and gathered around the table snacking, singing, and laughing with each other.  When I light a candle that smells like sweet pumpkins, I’m reminded of the field trips I took as a little girl to the pumpkin patch, and how proud I was to carry (not easily I should add) my great big pumpkin off of the school bus home to my parents.  Candles can be fun, romantic, whimsical, and comforting.  Candles can create cheer and happiness, and set the tone of the room to whatever you want it to be.  Candles are wonderful gifts, and for me, they bring warmth to my home, and my heart.

I am doing what I love, but unlike the quotes I mentioned at the start of this post, I am working hard at it.  But, I don’t mind, because I LOVE it.  I am tired.  Scratch that.  I am exhausted.  I wake up foggy and bleary-eyed, but I am fulfilled.  I am grateful.  I have a family that means the world to me, a full-time job I adore, and this new venture that I am in love with.  I’ve had challenges along the way, and the road to get here has not always been the easiest to navigate.  I had many, many tough years growing up, but I made it past those years, and I am here and I am appreciative for those experiences.

I have shared this thought with some of my family and friends recently when I talk about my new business – I don’t know what the future has in store for Sweet Melissa’s.  I hope it has great things.  But, even if it never goes beyond what it is today, I will still be fulfilled, because I tried.  After years of dreaming (and let’s not forget leaving myself messages), I finally had the courage to do this.  I am putting myself out there in front of all of my family, friends, and colleagues, and although it can be quite scary at times, I know my future self will thank my current self for putting all of this hard work into something we both love 🙂

Until next time, cheers!

 

To stay up-to-date with very latest from Sweet Melissa’s, including our sweet family, adventures, and to earn coupons for candle purchases, please join us on Facebook.  To see our products, please visit our store.  You can also find us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!  Thank you so kindly for reading Sweet Words.  We sincerely appreciate the time you spent here.  Have a sweet day!

Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to check out Sweet Words by Sweet Melissa’s Fragrance Factory.  We truly appreciate your visit!

Sweet Melissa’s Fragrance Factory is launching new, scented candles to the market in June 2013, and we are beyond thrilled!  Sweet Melissa’s is a new business, and our Sweet Words blog is a place for us to share our experiences as we launch our new candle collections.

We love feedback, and would love to hear from you!  Thank you for stopping by!  Have a sweet day!

To stay up-to-date with very latest from Sweet Melissa’s, including our sweet family, adventures, and to earn coupons for candle purchases, please join us on Facebook.  To see our products, please visit our store.  You can also find us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!  Thank you so kindly for reading Sweet Words.  We sincerely appreciate the time you spent here.  Have a sweet day!