So, 1st let me say, I doubt I’m alone in the fact that I don’t feel old enough to have a 10 year old! I remember when Aubrey, our 1st, started Kindergarten and I couldn’t believe how quickly that day snuck up on us. Now, here she is in 4th grade, a little person in her own right, and I have NO IDEA where the last 10 years went!
So, for those of you who are not familiar with the RuffleButts story, I’ll try to give you a speed version here...so I started RuffleButts before Aubrey, our first daughter, was born. In many ways RuffleButts was my 1st born and when RB turned 10 a few years back, I was pretty much in shock at how crazy fast everything had gone by. In November of 2008, almost 2 years after starting RuffleButts, we were blessed with our 1st child. It has been the craziest, most emotional, most stressful, most amazing 10 years of my life. Launching and growing a business while simultaneously “launching” and growing a family is pure craziness, pure joyful craziness!
All of my RB memories seem to be intertwined with my mom memories. I’ll never forget our 1st trip out to LA for a RB photo shoot with Amanda Elkins! Amanda is an incredible LA-based photographer, who quickly became a friend through RB. I knew I had to elevate our RB photography, and also knew Amanda was the perfect person to do it! My only challenge was the fact that Aubrey was only 9 months old, was barely sleeping through the nights and was having a soy-reaction, unable to keep her food down. I packed up my little 9-month-old and out to LA we went, just the two of us! What was I thinking?!! She screamed the entire 4 hour flight out, threw up all over the clothes we were photographing, and we arrived 30 minutes late to our own shoot (the flight was delayed of course!). Funny enough, they are still some of my very favorite photos to this day.
Fast forward 9+ years and here she is. I could not be more proud of the little lady that she has become. On Black Friday week (Thanksgiving break) she chooses to get up at 3:30 in the morning and come with me to the office, each and every year. She helps with graphics, social videos, fit tests, photo shoots. She endures my endless working and even cheers me on. She is faithful, intelligent, adventurous and never steps down from a challenge. The only thing bigger than her spirit is her ambition, which scares me just a little. She is everything I wish I was at her age, and I dare even guess what kind of life she will create for herself.
As I step back with my mom-wrinkles, dark circles and too-many greys to mention, I smile at the fact that they were all completely worth it. I have had the privilege of watching not only RuffleButts grow up over these years, but also my two amazing children. I have also learned to take in the moments, much more so than I realized in my younger years. I know very well that Jonas is only 2 years behind Aubrey and that they both will be graduating before I know it. In the meantime, I’m going to take a moment to count my blessings and hold on for the ride. Happy birthday my sweet baby girl!