Me My Life The Blog

A New Direction

I had planned to do a straightforward recap of the Alt Summit, 2012. I’ve tried to sit down and write it all down for you, but I’m struggling. It isn’t because Alt wasn’t amazing (it was), or because I had a bad time (I had fun and learned a few things). I’m struggling because of some news that awaiting me upon my return. My last seven days have felt something like this: nervous, eager, reaffirmed, happy, delayed, scared, and finally, hopeful.

Tuesday: Nervous

The usual thoughts ran through my head. Did I pack the right things? Was my panel prepared? Would my family fare well while I’m gone? Could I get through all of the work I needed to do, before I had to leave?

Wednesday: Eager

I had prepared as much as I was able, and it was time to go. I was on the very first panel at the first Alt Summit in 2010, and I watched the summit via twitter last year, sad to be missing out but too pregnant to travel. I was excited about going back again, and looking forward to it. This was going to be fun!

Thursday: Reaffirmed

Alt came this year, for me, at the tail end of a lot of work. I’ve been doing more than ever, trying to juggle my blogging commitments with my family life, taking on too much at times, and having to put my head down and work. Being surrounded by my peers though, so many passionate, hard-working, and successful bloggers, reaffirmed that I’m heading in the right direction. I’m fortunate to have a job, unconventional as it is, doing something I love. I want to see Making it Lovely grow, and realize all of its potential.

Friday: Happy

Alt Design Summit 2012 - Friday morning

Jordan, Kelly, me, and Maggie spoke about Growing a Readership. I’ve put together a recap of the Twitter conversations that happened throughout our panel, which was one of the most well-attended! My weepiest moment of the day came as Ben, the co-founder of Pinterest, gave a particularly inspiring keynote and received a standing ovation. His infographic feels especially relevant right now.

The entire conference was amazing; everything I’d hope it would be and more. Thank you to Gabby, Sarah, and Kate, and to all of the people who help make Alt the blogging event I most look forward to each year.

Saturday: Delayed

And homesick. De-icing the plane, flying against a strong headwind, and landing in an airport that was under construction all contributed to my plane landing two minutes after my connection left. I was placed on standby, with a confirmed seat on a plane for Monday afternoon. I spent the night in the hotel closest to the Pheonix airport.

Sunday: Scared

The next day, while other passengers lost their tempers and berated airline employees, I was able to get a confirmed seat on a plane home in the late morning (it’s always better to be nice). We were delayed though, and spent an hour sitting on the runway before takeoff due to weather conditions back home. We were finally given the OK to fly into Chicago, and I arrived home approximately 25 hours after first leaving the hotel in Salt Lake City. I then picked up the kids and immediately turned around to go to my mom’s house because we were supposed to be there for a birthday party.

All of that made for a very long day, but it wasn’t the reason I was scared.

Brandon lost his job. He had found out on Thursday, but he waited to tell me until I had finally arrived home with the kids late Sunday night, after we had put them to bed.

Monday: Hopeful

Our dream has been to reach the point at which Brandon could leave his job. While we had assumed it would be in a planned, responsible way, we will have to embrace our new circumstances.

Do we go all-in on the blog? I’m not making enough to solely support my family, but we have to look at the numbers and see if I could get it there. How long would it take if we were devoting all of our time and energy to it? (Six months? A year? Longer?) Should we do something a little crazy, like buy a store? It has never been a goal of ours, but if you’re one that believes things happen for a reason, the universe seems to be aligning in that way. Or does Brandon look for another steady, 9-5 job? He has been the rock that has made it possible for me to get to the point I’m at today. While the benefits and stability that come along with traditional employment are reassuring (especially with a family and a mortgage), I’d love for him to be as fulfilled in his work as I am. These are all things that will be weighing heavily on us, and we need to figure out our next direction.

I’m hopeful. But I’m still scared, too, to be honest.

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  • Laura
    January 24, 2012 at 2:01 am

    You guys will def figure it out- go with your gut, plan and analyze & re plan & analyze. It will become clear. You’re far too talented not to make something that will be hugely successful.

  • Laura
    January 24, 2012 at 2:03 am

    & I meant to add I’m sorry you’re going thro this hard time.

  • Lydia
    January 24, 2012 at 2:16 am

    I don’t usually post comments but I wanted to say that I hope it all works out for you and Brandon gets to have a job to love as much as you love yours!

  • shana
    January 24, 2012 at 2:44 am

    wow. you will be better than ok. you will be amazing.

    i know this for sure. when shawn lost his job i was terrified. ultimately it was the best thing that ever happened. to him and for us. really and truly.

  • my honest answer
    January 24, 2012 at 3:18 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I really think you could expand Making it Lovely so there is room for two of you. I know I would love even more posts, and if taking him on allows you to do that, I know I would visit more, so it stands to reason that your traffic would grow.

    But I know it’s a big and scary decision. All the best to you both.

  • Bethie
    January 24, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Thanks for sharing this with us. That’s got to be scary. Hang in there!
    Just out of curiosity, what does Brandon do?

  • Lindsay
    January 24, 2012 at 5:15 am

    I understand exactly how you feel as this happened to us a year ago, (my hubby is also our main breadwinner) and it’s a very, very scary place to be. But here we are – we still a roof over our heads and food in our bellies – and if you’re brave and smart you can turn it into an opportunity to shape your future how you want it. Good luck!

  • Fionnuala
    January 24, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Like Lydia, I’m not a great commenter, but I just wanted to pile in as a generally silent reader and wish you both the very best for the future. I hope this is an opportunity for Brandon to carve himself a brilliant, enjoyable career.

  • Bella Foxtrot
    January 24, 2012 at 5:37 am

    What a rollercoaster! I share the sentiment of most others here – I’m sure this is a turning point for more happy in your life, no matter what you decide to do. Best wishes.

  • Cara
    January 24, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Like Lydia I don’t comment often but I have been a faithful daily reader for almost 4 years (eek! That feels long typing it!). My husband lost his job suddenly this year after we had labored over the decision for me to stay at home with our daughter. We felt very vulnerable, it was indeed scary. But it was also a time we embraced to grow in our marriage, to reground ourselves in our faith and to nurture friendships that sustained and encouraged us in that transition. I will keep you and Brandon and the kids in my thoughts and prayers. I know this is tough but I know you two will figure out what is best for your family.

  • Peppercorn Paprikash
    January 24, 2012 at 6:26 am

    I just wanted to pipe up and wish you guys luck. I’ve been out of a job for about 6 months, so I know how that goes. I hope that, whatever you decide, you end up going in a direction that takes you closer to where you want to be.

  • Mary Beth
    January 24, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Last year, my sister Helen & I were in the same position. She got laid off and we needed to figure out if she should work in our online store full time, find another job, or whether we should throw caution to the winds, have me quit my job, & together open a store. We went for door #3 and it has been so rewarding. We sell stuffed animals so we are not saving the world, unless your child has lost his favorite Jellycat and then we’re pretty darn awesome! But we meet the greatest people and hear some amazing stories. And we get to work in a really happy place. It is very hard some months, but very much worth the sacrifices.

  • Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma
    January 24, 2012 at 6:37 am

    think of all the empty store fronts in our area, nicole!

    my area in Chicago {nw side} is a ghosttown of retail.

    i’ve been reading your blog since your early days {before I even knew what blog were!}. great things will come from you, and for you.

    my best.

  • katie
    January 24, 2012 at 6:46 am

    first, this summit sounds amazing, it’s been so interesting to read all of the recaps the last few days.

    i’m so sorry to hear about brandon’s job. i just wanted to tell you that i know what it’s like. 6 years ago i decided to go back to grad school in a different city – both my husband and i left our comfortable jobs to move 300 miles away from our friends and families. i went to school full time, he was able to find a job soon after we arrived in stl. he lost that job 4 months later, on new years day. it was heartbreaking, and caused me to really question what i was doing. we struggled financially, for sure, but we made it through. 4 months later he found another job, that has lead to fantastic things for him. he’s never been happier. when i graduated, we stayed in stl because of him, and i was able to find a job in architecture, and keep in, which is not common these days. i truly believe that him losing that job has helped us both be more successful in the long run.

    so long way of saying – i’m thinking of you, and i know it’s stressful. best of luck, and i hope that this just leads to good things for you both.

  • Melissa
    January 24, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Your blog has been one of my favorites for a long time. Thank you for sharing so much and always putting positive energy out into the world! I know that good things will come for your family.

  • Kelley
    January 24, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Been reading and swooning over your blog for years. It’s inspiring to watch your work and family grow. Here’s hoping your extreme industriousness and incredible energy get you and family where you want to be!

  • elissa :: ebb & flow
    January 24, 2012 at 7:07 am

    love your honesty. life has a way of throwing a wrench in your plans but i just know things are going to fall into place for you. i can’t wait to see if all come together and grow. thinking of you!

  • jennifer
    January 24, 2012 at 7:20 am

    I’m chiming in to add another, “I know what you’re going through.” As a stay at home mom to two boys, my husband lost his job a little over 2 years ago. I was so very very scared. It took some time, but amazing opportunities unfolded before him and he’s ever so much happier and fulfilled. That lay-off was the best thing that could have happened for our family. I’m a very “everything happens for a reason” kind of gal, so your serindipitous turn of events can only be the universe telling you to jump and the net will appear. Stay strong and positive. Snuggle those babies and be thankful for all that you have. You’re going to be amazing!

  • Jamie@WrightHouseAffairs
    January 24, 2012 at 7:21 am

    I am so sorry for the anxiety and uncertainty that this is creating for your family. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise and will help your husband land himself in a role that he is better suited for!

  • reynok
    January 24, 2012 at 7:38 am

    On the other side of things, I work for a company that helps transition people who have been layed off, readying them for today’s job market. I hear these stories every day and am brokenhearted by every one. But, after the fear and anxiety subside, the possibilities start entering their brains. So many people decide that NOW is the time to make that jump they’ve been dreaming of making. Time to start that new business, begin a consulting career, switch gears completely and try for something they LOVE this time. To hear the hopefulness in their voices is very inspiring.

    You never know what tomorrow will bring so you should make the most of today. What does Brandon really *want* to do with his career? If you cannot take the giant leap financially, what are the small steps you can afford to make to help him realize that goal?

  • J.
    January 24, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I’m so sorry about your husband losing his job. If you’re interested in buying a local store, Julia is looking for a buyer for Flybird on Lake Street, OP.

  • Jessica @shimmerkai
    January 24, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Agree with Jamie above. Everything happens for a reason and this could be the catalyst for all kinds of positive changes! Thank you for sharing…and all the best to you and your family during this time.

  • Danielle
    January 24, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I’m so sorry about your husband’s job! Good luck with whatever you decide. We’re all rooting for you!!

  • Connie
    January 24, 2012 at 8:07 am

    So sorry to read about your husband’s job. I understand the fear myself with two children of my own and a mortgage. But you’re taking the right approach. Sometimes things happen for a reason. I know that you can both figure it out and find the right path for you and your family.

  • Rosa
    January 24, 2012 at 8:10 am

    when my daughter fell over the handle bars and was bleeding and panicked, she asked me why I wasn’t crying too. I told her that my job as mom is to be in control and to make sure I “take care of business”. It is scary, but everything in your head and heart tell you to be calm and get it done. Have a meeting. Make a plan as to what each of you are responsible for with the business. Give it 3 months (if it is unemployment benefits or severence) to work through your new business plan. He can still devote 1 hour a day to look for steady employment, freelance gigs, etc. You have plan A, B, C . . . You will be fine and you will grow. This is a great site with so much to offer, and I know it will be one of the leading blogs in the design industry. Good luck.

  • Michelle
    January 24, 2012 at 8:20 am

    It’s hard to trust that everything will be okay when there are so many unknowns floating around…but best of luck to you! You’re a very talented woman, I bet you’re going to do well for yourself and your family :o) Excited to see what you come up with in the next few months, I love reading your blog.

  • Tineke
    January 24, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I very rarely post, but I wanted to offer extra encouragement in this scary time like others here! I pray you and your family will find the direction needed to move forward. Everything will work out! Hugs!

  • Mrs. Limestone
    January 24, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I really don’t have anything smart to say other than I am 100 percent positive that whatever you put your energy into will be a wonderful success. Being scared is normal but you have a wonderful attitude about this little unexpected twist. All the best!

  • Diane@InMyOwnStyle
    January 24, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Hi Nicole-

    I enjoy your blog and following everything you do. I am so sorry to hear about your husband’s job. I know first hand how it feels – mine lost his and has been
    “in transition” for a while now. I started my blog as a way to cope and it has turned into a very positive thing for me. I very much understand how you want your husband to find work that he is as passionate about as you are with blogging. Try to stay positive, it will all work out – you are young and have your whole lives ahead of you. Once the initial shock wears off and you have some time to access everything you will find your way. With each passing day it does get better. Life may have a new rhythm for awhile, but know it is only temporary.

    My best-Diane

    My best- Diane

  • Daniela Conn
    January 24, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that for sure, the universe is trying to tell you something. You are such a creative person that I’m sure whatever you and Brandon choose to do will turn out great. There’s no harm in getting your feet wet, maybe trying something out for a few months, and if it doesn’t pan out, Brandon can get a “traditional” job. Maybe he should just start looking, because with this economy, it might take 6 months to get hired. During that time, you could focus on your dreams!

    P.S-Listen to the song “Little Talks,” from Of Monsters and Men…(I just posted it on my blog – It makes me happy, and I hope it does the same for you :)

  • Roxanna (miguelina)
    January 24, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I am so sorry — this is such a scary thing to have thrown at you, but I just have a feeling that you and Brandon will take this opportunity to do something big.

    I don’t know what is the best thing for you to do right now, but I do know that all the work you’ve put in so far is going to pay off, no matter what you guys do. Just let me (us!) know how we can help you. XOXO

  • Cathy
    January 24, 2012 at 8:31 am

    So sorry to read about your husband’s job loss. I went through a similar situation 2 years ago when 5 months pregnant with my son. It was a stressful situation, but it forced my husband to do what he really wanted to do which was start his own business. He is now more in control of the work he does and projects he takes, and has one full-time employee. It is still hard since he is trying to grow the business, but ultimately much better than working for someone else. I am sure it will all work out for your family; you are both smart, creative people.

  • Anna
    January 24, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Lots of us are out here making it work. Good luck to you!

  • Ana Lopes
    January 24, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Lots of love and hope from a portuguese reader who’s sure, absolutely sure, that everything will turn out alright!


  • Stephanie
    January 24, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Best of luck to you and your husband, whatever you determine is best for your family and Making It Lovely.

  • Michelle
    January 24, 2012 at 8:55 am

    This is a time for you to grown, and I know you will. I also know coming from a stranger, on the internet it might seem hollow. But. You will, and it will be magical when you look back on it. I know this b/c of your astounding personality, your drive and talent! I can only imagine that this will be a shooting off point to a better life for your whole family. Sending you calming vibes…

  • Amanda Fellers
    January 24, 2012 at 8:55 am

    I’m so sorry. My husband lost his job of 13 years a week before christmas. Timing! Ahhhh! The first 72 hours blow chunks. Then once you get your mind wrapped around the situation, you never know what kind of opportunities you can persue. I have to say, I am surprised at how good I feel despite the circumstances and you will get there, too, I’m sure. I told him he should persue something he never thought would be possible, b/c now is the time. Most men would never take risks with their dreams if they are the breadwinner. But now he is “forced” to open himself up to things he may never have before.

    Plus, now i found out we really LIKE each other! I’m not looking forward to the day that he’s not home w/ me so much!

    This is your path.

  • samarahuel
    January 24, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I never knew my heart could go out in such a way to a stranger. But it does. (And really, you share your heart and your life with us, so really you’re not so much of a stranger at all.) I can’t imagine the full scope of what you’re going through. I will be praying for you guys.

  • kristen f davis
    January 24, 2012 at 9:00 am

    i’ve always loved reading your blog, and really admire you for being SO creative, and SO artistic, but also so detail-oriented and thoughtful at the same time (i have a tendency to just do things without thinking about them for long). i’m sorry for your state of uneasiness, but i know you guys will come up with a perfect solution to it. thinking of you!

  • Alison
    January 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your new state of uncertainty. But, after reading your blog for so many years, I feel confident that you and your family will take on this challenge with the same grace and style you bring to Making It Lovely! Best of luck to you.

  • Kate
    January 24, 2012 at 9:20 am


    I’ve been reading your blog since about 6 months before your daughter was born. You inspired me to start my own blog. I’ve seen how far you have come since then and I know that you and your family will be okay.

    It is scary to suddenly lose a job like that. The same thing happened to my husband (before we were married). He came home looking deflated one day because he lost his job. He was sad for about 12 hours and the next day he got up, put on a t-shirt that said “I look for the prize in every box” and started looking for a new job. Within a few weeks he was interviewing and he ended up only being out of work for 6 weeks. I’m sure that whatever you and Brandon decide to do, you will be fine because you both have positive attitudes and like my husband you can “look for the prize in every box”

    Best of luck to you in whatever you decide to do!

  • Cecilia
    January 24, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I’m sending you giant hugs. I have felt this burden and know how much anxiety it can create. You seem to have a great perspective and a few solid options for moving forward. That’s a good fortune right there.

    Hugs again, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for you.

  • Meg
    January 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Thank you for sharing not just your design insight but also insight into your life and family. It is nice to know that a person I look up to still struggles with the realization/anticipation of the unknown. Your blog is a biweekly read for me, what I consider to be a success story of a designer/mom who appears to balance it all very well. God bless you and your family and good luck on your new and exciting adventure! Good things will come :)

  • Chedva
    January 24, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Nicole, thanks for being so honest. It sounds scary, but I read a lot of hope and a bright future within the lines. Wishing you the best.

  • Ashley @
    January 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Everything happens for a reason! Being in the world of recruitment, it seems everyone is either losing their jobs or bouncing back from a job loss. Hang in there! What’s meant to be will find a way!

  • tina
    January 24, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this stressful news. You will totally make this work. Best of luck and peace as you sort through your options and decide your path.

  • Nadia - Cupcake Couture
    January 24, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Hi. I am a new reader of your blog – found it via the Alt site. Sorry to hear about such difficult news. I had to leave my job a year ago – and wasn’t ready, but a year later I am happy, working hard, but fulfilled. We never know why these things happen, but sending lots of luck, stay strong and soon there will be a clear path…

  • Nicole S.
    January 24, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Oh man. I’m so sorry for this shake up. But I’ve got confidence that if anyone can turn this into something amazing, it will be you guys. Good luck and happy thoughts to you!!!

  • emily @ go haus go
    January 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. Whatever you do, we as your readers will support you 200%. If you open a shop, we’ll be there to check out the goods. If you take a new direction on the blog, we’ll be there to take it all in. We’ve got your back!

    I think Brandon should become a MIL contributor. His pose with the cat in the Christmas card pretty much sealed the deal for me. :)


  • Lena
    January 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Like J said above, I was going to add about Hulia and Flybird. I’m a longtime reader, never commenter and fellow Oak Parker. I am dying to buy Flybird myself, but it’s not in our cards right now. Good luck with this next phase.

  • Amy Awesome
    January 24, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I am so sorry he lost his job, I definitely think you’re the type of family that will always be able to make the best out of anything.

  • liz @ bon temps beignet
    January 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I say go with your gut. It’s beyond scary to live on one person’s paycheck, especially with a house payment. I think a store front would be an amazing idea. You have so many supporters that would LOVE to meet you *and* buy your creations. I think it would be a really cool new direction for you.

  • Giulia
    January 24, 2012 at 10:01 am

    ahhh, so sorry that he lost his job and that leaving on his terms was not an option. I’m sure you’ll get through it and find a solution that works for your family. 9-5 doesn’t have to be a bad job, maybe he can find something fulfilling that is stable…but the stars are the limit, right? Crossing my fingers and wishing you and your family all the best, goo luck and the patience to find the best next step.

  • Ayadet
    January 24, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I am also one of those silent readers and I hope the best for you and your family. It’s these scary times that help us grow and become more strong and Creative and girl you are creative! So, much luck and blessings your way! P.S. My niece’s room was actually inspired by your daughter’s room!

  • elz
    January 24, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Good luck. Job uncertainty/searching/stress is no fun. Hopefully you can help Brandon find a path that makes him happy and provides security.

  • Kathy
    January 24, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Hi Nicole,
    Your blog has always been one of my favorites. I have been reading your blog for years, and I have always wondered what Brandon(love his expressions in family pictures) does for a living. I am positive you and Brandon will land on your feet quickly. It seems lots of people are getting laid off and bouncing back quickly these days.
    Things always work out for the best.

  • Elaine
    January 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

    What a week full of emotions! I guess all you can do is take a deep breath and look at all your options and choose what ‘feels right’. Things do happen for a reason so perhaps you are on the verge of something perfect for you and yoru little family. :) Will be thinking of you guys and hoping for the best resolution and future.

  • bink & boo
    January 24, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I’m sorry to hear about the unexpected job loss. What a wonderful husband and friend you have in Brandon, waiting until you got home to share the news. My husband and I both experienced this same situation a couple of years ago and it’s been an amazing journey (sometimes bumpy) for the both of us to reprioritize what we want out of life and our careers. I look forward to hearing which direction Brandon (and you) choose. What ever you decide I know you guys will be fantastic and that your wishes and desires will all be realized and fulfilled.
    Wishing you sunshine & cheer sprinkled with an abundance of success!

  • Kaitlin
    January 24, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing. I know that sometimes we readers read these blogs and the author seems to have everything in order in their life. Your post made you very human to all your readers and I hope the best for you and your family. Unexpected bumps sometimes end up being a blessing and I truely hope that how this ends for you.

  • Jonica
    January 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

    so sorry to hear about your husband losing his job! i have to say that was really thoughtful of him to wait until you returned from alt summit before telling you! i know it’s scary, but i think that when a door closes a window opens. i lost my job about a year ago and it really has been a blessing because it has opened up the space for to pursue something that i am more passionate about. i don’t really know you, but from what i can tell you will both figure it out and your life will get richer and stronger from the experience.

  • Kate
    January 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Aww. It’s OK to be scared. I have faith in you, though! Your work is amazing, and you are obviously dedicated to it. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • Nicole
    January 24, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Nicole- I am so sorry to hear the news… its always scary when big decisions are taken out of your hands. BUT – you are so talented and you all seem like a very loving family so I know you guys will be ok. Which probably sounds hollow, but just wanted you to know that we believe in you! :)

    PS- last year my husband and I went through the (frustrating) process of finding individual health insurance so please reach out if you’d like any help figuring it all out. We used an agent in Chicago who was sooo helpful & was no cost to us.

  • Carrie
    January 24, 2012 at 11:15 am

    “..every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
    I’m so sorry for this shake in your foundation. Things will shift and find new ground. Your talent and your husband’s talent are ready for the spotlight – go towards it.

  • Erika
    January 24, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Glad to hear you had an amazing time away and so sorry to hear about your hub’s job. We have been struggling with a tough work situation too. I stay at home with my little guy and a second is on the way. I blog my little heart out at two sites, have three Etsy shops and do alterations on the side. Still, it’s not doing anything but providing a little bit of fun money. My husband would love to leave his current job that has him, in his own words “working for the Devil”. ;o) He is talented and I know could score something good, very quickly, but the benefits piece has him terrified to leave. With the ebb and flow that goes on where he works we have braced ourselves three times already in 1.5 years for the inevitable lay-off, but so far he has remained employed. I know he is not long for this company and I pray all the time that our hard work will pay off. Sorry to ramble and enough about me. That was all just to say that I can relate to the “scared” part of what you are feeling.
    I believe, though, that things do happen for a reason and this may be just what your Brandon needs to get to that “fulfilled” life. I wish you all the best- you are blessed with a creative mind and a strong work ethic. I have to believe that you found similar qualities in your mate- you will both be fine. Just have faith.
    Sending prayers and positive thoughts your way!

  • Tatyana
    January 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I am so sorry about the bad news Nicole. As scary as it is, I think the universe gives us a kick in the butt sometimes, because we are meant to be doing something else, sometimes better, with our lives. Stay hopeful, everything will turn out just fine. Best to you and your family.

  • Kris
    January 24, 2012 at 11:25 am

    As someone wearing “The Golden Handcuffs” who can’t stand my job, but needs to do it to support my litle family, I hope you and Brandon take this scary time as an opportunity to find something that speaks to his soul. I am very sorry he lost his job and hope you can turn this into an amazing opportunity for you both. Best wishes!

  • Mona
    January 24, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I think the fact that you shared all your emotions on your blog shows how strong you really are. Most people won’t admit that they are scared.

    I was laid off last year and I bounced back, but I am not where I want to be at this point in my life because I panicked and rushed into a “9-5” job. If you have a dream, don’t be scared, make it happen… don’t rush.

    I’m hoping everything will work out for you and your lovely family!! Your blog is gorgeous and inspiring and I think that if you opened a store it would be very successful!

  • Cathi
    January 24, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I am sorry to hear that the choice has been made for you versus a strategic move on your/Brandon’s part. We are hopeful as well… hoping that this move leads to tremendous opportunity. I’m sure it will. Hang in there, you guys!

  • Diana
    January 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I am so sorry for the stress and uncertainty this is bringing your family. I have no doubt that you two will end up doing something amazing.

  • Shannon(8foot6)
    January 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    What a tumultuous week!
    I hope this turns out to be the best thing that ever happened to your family!

  • Dottie
    January 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    First off, it was absolutely wonderful to meet you at Alt and chat about your awesome cuties and your rocking roller derby ways. And I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to tell you how much I admire your business acumen as well as your brilliant design eye. And your heart and strength which is clearly apparent in all that you do.

    My sweetie Eric lost his job last year and it is tough and I know there are some amazing opportunities as well as night terrors ahead of you, I know that you will land on your feet and be in an even more amazing place.

    You rock!


    – Dottie

  • Molly
    January 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Good Luck to you. I hope you can make the best of your season to grow!

  • janet
    January 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Just by acknowledging that Brandon has been the rock that has made your success & happiness what it is today, leaves no doubt in me that whatever your next step is, you all will be just fine. Best wishes. Looking forward to your fantastic outcome!

  • Tara Jane
    January 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    It is hard to be part of the 8.5% of unemployed US citizens. (My husband too is unemployed and having to be go outside the 9 to 5 box to fill the void of work.) I would encourage you 2 to test to waters of creativety as a couple. If it does not work out, there is always the 9-5 gig that could be tapped into in the future. Best of Luck with your new path.

  • Beth C
    January 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Brandon losing his job. My husband and I both lost our jobs in ’09. It was scary, but we made it through (and, oddly, we’re both back at our old jobs, with some detours along the way). As smart and creative as you are, I know you’ll get through this and end up in a better place.

  • Evelyn
    January 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    My husband lost his job three times (his field is just that unstable right now) and EVERY single time, his career grew by leaps and bounds. We’ve grown to appreciate the fear and uncertainty, it forces us to refocus, choose the most important strategy and go after it full-heartedly. You and your family will pleasantly surprise yourselves during this time. I have no doubt this is a blessing in disguise.

  • Jaime from Design Milk
    January 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Nicole, I’m so sorry to hear about Brandon’s job, and can’t imagine how scary that must be. I know you’ll make it through, but I know you guys will make the right decision. Crossing my fingers for you – always here if you need me! xo

  • Archer
    January 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Hey. Thanks for being open with your readers. Hang in there. Such news can be a shock, especially a little while later. My husband lost his job twice in one year in 2009. It took me a while to recover emotionally from the repercussions (which were unusual). But we did recover and we’re in a much, much better place now. There is sunshine behind the cloud, I promise.

    Love on your family and your husband and work hard to find that light. It will shine brighter before you know it.

  • Emily
    January 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about Brandon losing his job but the way you write about it makes me believe that, as a family, you will follow you hearts, be strong and make wonderful, creative things happen from a difficult situation. Being scared is natural but the wonderful thing is that you also have hope. Lots of luck in your new adventures. x

  • laura parke
    January 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    gosh, what a week you’ve had. i’m sorry to hear of the job loss news. it’s never an easy thing to deal with, but i’m sending thoughts your way as you and your family figure out what’s best for everyone. i so enjoyed meeting you at Alt and i’m grateful you were there to share your thoughts & insights. try to keep your chin up.

  • Kathleen
    January 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    be encouraged! please. HUGS.

  • tammie
    January 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    nicole, from sitting in on your panel at ALT, we all can tell that you are strong and you and your family will get through the scary part. this might be the little kick to take it to the next level. good luck – we’re all cheering you on!

  • Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet
    January 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Best of luck to you both. It’s a really difficult position to be in; I know. Hopefully it will all work out for the best :-)

  • MK
    January 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    What a hard and scary thing to come home to for you and to deal with while you were gone for Brandon. Whatever happens – you guys will be ok. You don’t have to avoid making mistakes, or having bad luck – you just need to be resilient. I only know your family through this blog, but you seem more than up to the challenge.

  • Heather
    January 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Nicole, so sorry to hear this…what a crazy couple of days. Thanks for being open and sharing this with us! I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers! My husband lost his job, but now he is working for himself and loves what he does more than ever! I hope that you and Brandon are able to do this too!

  • Erma
    January 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    One good thing is that you have all of our support. :)

  • aubrey
    January 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    oh wow. I am sorry because that is a tough one. It feels uncomfortable and just awful. The uncertainty of it all.
    This has happened to us recently over the past few years and it’s enough to just make you sick.
    BUT, it turned out for the best.
    AND I was (and am not) in any way close to even ever consider Me taking it all on. It would be fantastic, but it’s not even close.
    SO, my point is, be proud that you can consider that.
    Even if that’s not the route you end up taking. Pat yourself on the back.
    And just keep breathing!

  • Rebecca
    January 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    This is never easy, but it will be okay.
    Good luck to you guys! Sending positive thoughts your way…

  • Lilia Ahner
    January 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Nicole: this is the first time I’ve commented on your blog, which I really love. :) So sorry to hear about Brandon losing his job. I’ve been there before, during the first bursting of the dot com bubble in SF in 2000. I’ve had quite a journey since then, I went back to school, finished my degree, went to grad school, and now I’m a wedding and portrait photographer. It’s tough, but you learn how strong you are. Sounds like the universe is trying to make things happen for you in a round about way. I know you both will coming shining though. :)

  • victoria
    January 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    nicole – what an emotional week for you! lisa and i kept wishing you home as we sat delayed as well, knowing you had the little ones to get home to!

    i hate to be cliché and say that things happen for a reason, but maybe they actually do. whatever happens and whatever you decide together, i believe in you and am here if you need to talk. i will be thinking the most positive of thoughts for you, brandon and your family. xoxo

  • Kerry {Super Swoon}
    January 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Hang in there! I too believe everything happens for a reason… Change is scary, especially something like this. You’re lucky to have each other :)

  • Sayra Adams
    January 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Opportunity! Yet scary. Hopefully there’s a little bit of unemployment coming.

    Do not slack off! Look into all options. If you need to, get a roomate. They can help pay for the mortgage. he can re-learn, try try try! Get a different job. I’ve heard of people with doctorates leaving info off their resumes just so they can cashier at Home Depot to pay the bills. It will happen…good stuff. Tighten your belt, and make a plan.

  • Margot Madison
    January 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Congratulations! You are at the tipping point of great things. From personal experience, I suggest you do not open a store. It’s a creative killer and you have too much to offer. ;o)

  • Kate
    January 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I lost my job about a year ago. I was the bread winner of the family and supported my husband’s recording studio. The past year has been incredibly rough. There are no jobs in my field around me and there is a glut of new graduates with my same degree about to leave school. While I cannot say things are coming together (because they often feel like they are falling apart), I am exploring other options. Best of luck to you.

  • bethany
    January 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Nicole, thanks for being so honest and open about your life in this post. I have been guilty of the thought that bloggers like you have this happy, shiny life that I can never attain. I look at your beautiful house, beautiful children, unconventional but *lovely* career and think, “she’s so lucky.” Thanks for being honest and down-to-earth in these moments to remind us that you’re human, that you have your own struggles to attain stability for your family, too.
    My husband and I have both struggled through our own employment challenges since we graduated from college and got married.
    I hope and pray that Brandon finds fulfillment and stability in whatever employment situation he comes to next. I hope and pray that your family is able to ride out this phase of uncertainty with positivity and that good things come your way very quickly.

  • Kasey
    January 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful post. I often approach life in a very pre-planned way, but sometimes..things just happen. If I’ve learned anything along the way, it’s that, often, the stuff that scares us initially, and the unexpected directions that our life takes, can lead to the best kind of changes. So lovely to meet you at Alt and I say: go for it!

  • MIchele
    January 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Something wonderful will happen! BTW, Fly Bird is for sale on Lake Street…

  • Natalie Kilgore
    January 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I’m both so happy that Alt went so well for you, and sorry your husband lost his job. I lost my job going on 3 years ago, and it turned out to be the best thing that could’ve ever happened to me. I was forced to dive in head-first to own business — that I had been pursuing on the side — and looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Hoping this sudden change in life eventually brings GOOD things to you and your family. Thinking of you guys!

  • Amanda @ willful/joyful
    January 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    As scary as I imagine your situation is, I’m sure you’ll look back at this time as a pivotal moment. I don’t believe in fate, but I do believe in making the most of the cards dealt to you. The impression you give through your writing is one of a person with great ambition and capability. People who dream big and are willing to put in the hard work to get there will always do well. Whatever you and Brandon decide, I’m rooting for you. Go Team Lovely!

    • Making it Lovely
      January 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      Thank you! That’s how I look at things as well.

  • Ash
    January 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    And posts like that are exactly why I keep coming back to read your blog – such honesty and sincerity and a post that strikes a chord with probably all of your readers – that’s what makes a FANTASTIC blogger and the reason MIL is only going one place – UP – go buy some balloons and helium and hang on tight! It’s going to work out for you all.

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