Today we are sharing the last post that will appear on Jelly Bean Journals. While it is challenging to say goodbye to this beloved community, the blog has served it’s purpose and we are moving on to our next chapters. We have loved sharing our parenting stories, wins, struggles and experiences just as much as we have loved hearing yours. You have brought us so much joy, laughter, peace, and comfort. We only hope we have offered a small piece of the same to you. Thank you to our family, friends, readers, partners, and guest bloggers, for coming on this journey with us. We will forever be grateful for your support, encouragement, and friendship. We take you with us, and you will always be in our hearts. Here are some words from each of us:
This decision to say goodbye to Jelly Bean Journals, by no means, is an easy one. Parts of me are terribly sad and unsure about walking away. However, I walk away proud of what we did and shared.
The words I wrote shared some of my most personal moments, fears and hopes. As a result, I became more vulnerable, open and confident.
This community has served as an outlet and support group as well as provided a platform to grow and develop friendships. I will always be thankful for the comfort and peace in knowing, “I am not alone.”
My posts allowed me to document and share precious moments with my family. What an incredible gift to have later in life and to offer my children.
The perspective and knowledge I gained from hearing others stories and opinions continues to influence who I am as a person and mother. I am incredibly appreciative of this experience.
The blog allowed me to work with one of dearest friends, learn from her, and strengthen our relationship. I am better for it.
While there have been amazing things about blogging and hosting events for Jelly Bean Journals, not every experience can last forever. I’ve felt in my heart for a few months now, that my time with Jelly Bean Journals would be coming to a close sooner rather than later. But until recently, I hadn’t been ready to say that out loud or address it. The truth is, the place I was in four years ago is not the same place I’m in today. My priorities are not the same, my family has grown, and life looks quite a bit different today than it did in 2013 when we started pulling together the Jelly Bean Journals idea. When I look back at my dozens of posts shared here, I see a common topic: align my life with my priorities and values. I’ve tried to do that in so many different areas of my life and the thing is: it’s just become clear that as much as I love Jelly Bean Journals, there are other, bigger priorities in my life right now. Blogging takes at least 2-3 hours a week, and that’s time I could be giving to my kids, or, call me crazy, myself.
Earlier in 2017, I left my full time job and, with a business partner, started Hinge Studio Marketing and Communications. This experience has been an eye opener. See, this was in the works for a long time. I was terrified and unsure of how things would go. But, today, with certainty, I can say it was the right decision. I have had more fun, found a reinvigorated energy for my career and established better routines and opportunities for our family.
So, although I’m sad and unsure about leaving Jelly Bean Journals behind, I’m trusting the feelings that have been in my heart for a while now. I walk away from Jelly Bean Journals grateful for the experience and this community, and I am confident that I am better, fuller person because of this experience. Thank you to each and every one of you for reading, participating, sharing, being part of our lives, and allowing us to be part of yours.
I thought I was going to melt into the floor when I hit the publish button for my first post on the blog (Hello! Chelse Here…). I was excited, nervous, and incredibly apprehensive about putting it all out there. I am still grateful that Kerstin was not only willing to publish first, but also assure me that we were doing the right thing! I’m so glad I listened and hit that button. Jelly Bean Journals has helped me celebrate, heal, communicate, grow, learn, grieve, provide support and receive it.
In that first post I wrote, “I am a work in progress and consistently strive to be a better form of myself.” At this time in my journey, I have identified that the better form of myself is waiting in the full time working mom, wife, family member, and friend I want to be. When launching the blog I solely had Kiddo A. I was looking for my next big thing and I was comfortably settled in my career. I felt a need to work on my writing, be creative, and connect with others. I had the space in my life to enthusiastically take on a special labor of love. It was worth every second and all of those needs were fulfilled.
Much has changed since that first post, including the addition of Toddler B, a drastic career promotion, and the development of new needs where blogging doesn’t fit. It’s time to chase my next big thing and redistribute the time I spend on the blog back to my family, loved ones, other projects…and me.
I’m honored to have had a platform to speak out about various issues including VBAC, mommy wars, allergies, and parenting frustrations. I’m humbled at the way our supports have celebrated and connected with me and each other. I met and developed relationships with people I would have never crossed paths with. I’ve gotten to learn more about the people I already know and love. I have great stories documented for my family to enjoy. This opportunity has provided some incredible lessons and served it’s intended purpose. While it’s difficult to close this chapter, I find comfort in turning the page. I can’t wait to read what is next.
Thank you, again, from the bottom of our hearts. And remember, through all the sweet and sour parts of parenthood, those little Jelly Beans sure make it worth it!
Kerstin & Chelse
After January 8, 2018, you won’t be able to access Jelly Bean Journals. We have paid for extended hosting to that date, so if there is a topic you were meaning to go back to, you do have a little time.