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In The Valleys We Grow

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If you follow on social media, you’ll know that I spent last weekend in Palm Springs with some amazing bloggers in a 3 day get together sponsored both by Bing and some incredible other brands (see friday’s faves!) and the weekend was hosted by the amazingly talented Chelsea, Kelly, and Brittni. We had a cabinet stuffed to the gills with craft supplies, party goodies, fresh flowers, and tools. We had a refrigerator crammed full of sweets, drinks, and anything a girls heart could desire.  These girls really pulled off an amazing fete.

I have to tell you, though, before my trip to Palm Springs, I was feeling a little bad for myself.  I just wasn’t feeling my usual spunk and I felt drained and without inspiration.  So as we’re spending time together in a hot, tropical valley, I got to thinking about growth.  I set out to explore, to learn, and to grow with these other talented women.  So that is what I set to do, get out of my funk. Unfortunately, things sometimes get worse before they get better, but I learned that mountainous growth most evident when you’re in a valley…theoretically (and literally in this case).

Settle in for this (novel of a post) and let me explain.  Aside from generally feeling stagnant, my trip didn’t start out stellar. The airline cancelled my flight, they didn’t reschedule me.  I had a gate attendant in Columbus literally tell me to ‘figure it out’ in Chicago as she ushered me onto an outbound plane without a connecting flight. The wonderful people in Chicago patched something together and got me to Palm Springs just a few hours later than my original time.  The downside?  They couldn’t recover my luggage, but I could deal with that.  I had my valuables in my carry-on and the rest of my stuff would follow the next day.  Sure, I’m going to a tropical destination without so much as a bottle of spf or a swimsuit, but I’ll make do. I spent the day traveling in a grey dress, spent the evening dinner in said dress, slept in the dress, and woke up the next morning to wear the same grey dress.

When my luggage arrived the next day, I was elated. I showered, changed, and was a new Erin.  The whole thing was a small valley.  A really small valley.  I say that because a bigger one came.  Later that night while we were enjoying an amazing taco dinner at the Ace Hotel, our vacation house was robbed…. and they cleaned. me. out. Every single thing in my room was gone. All I had were the clothes I was wearing… again. When I walked into my room, I did a double-take. I couldn’t believe someone would be so thorough (for lack of better words).  My computer? Of course, I expected they’d take that.  My Louis Vuitton weekender?  Again, yes, I assumed that would be on the list of things to burgle.  A pair of Louboutin sandals? Some stylish bandits.

There were things that I didn’t expect they’d want, but were just within proximity, so off they went – from memory cards full of photos and notebooks full of sketches to all of my makeup, hairdryer, and jewelry.  This was a new low.  It may just seem like stuff, but it was my stuff. It was stuff that I used to make a living, stuff that I bought overseas, stuff that was given to me for Christmases and Birthdays.  I expected feeling upset at the loss of my things, but what I didn’t expect was the feeling of being completely violated; the knowledge that a stranger was going through the things that I hold near and dear with complete disrespect.  This valley was a pretty big one.

I was in a fog through the rest of the night and the discussions with police officers and a trip to Walmart to get something to wear the rest of my time in Palm Springs seemed to pass by in a blur.

But wouldn’t you know it?  It’s in the valleys that we grow.  It was following this moment that I felt the highest high of the trip.  We took the change of location (and the absence of a craft supply bonanza) to really just get to know each other.  During a time when I felt so disconnected from normalcy, I experienced the most comfort.  I was surrounded by my peers – those girls in my industry who I interact with online everyday – yet this time in person. I learned of the proverbial valleys that others were in, the struggles we feel in both our home and blog lives.  Everything from blogging to when to have kids to buying homes and sometimes none of that going our way.  We were sharing trade secrets and dishing about blog blunders and triumphs. I could feel myself regrowing with each funny anecdote or outburst of laughter. We stayed up late and drank wine out of dixie cups and played games.  We talked about our lives and our pet peeves, and our dreams.  It was both in that valley in California and that valley in my life that I felt such sharp acknowledgement of the peaks, and knew I was definitely on the way up.

 

 

 

p.s.  I really struggled with whether or not to tell you guys about this.  I wanted to come back and tell you about all of the beautiful, wonderful, colorful things we did, but doing that without sharing what my heart really went through felt like a lie.  I’ll be back next week to discuss all of the AWESOME things that happened and some new projects, series, and products that you’re sure to love!

 

 

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21 Comments on “In The Valleys We Grow”

  1. Valerie March 6, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    Wow! I’m so sorry to hear about what you went through! Not fun!! It can be a tough journey to get to the other side of life’s valleys. I’m glad that in the end, the trip was a positive one and I’m looking forward to your posts about it!
    ~Valerie

  2. Jenn @ HomeStyleReport March 6, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    I really appreciate that you shared this, however I absolutely HATE that you had to experience this! If you feel comfortable, you should definitely share more real life posts! I hope things are getting better for you and you’re able to recover/replace as much as possible (if though it won’t have the same sentimental meaning).

  3. Madeline March 6, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    so sad, Erin! how terrible. i hope you are feeling better and i am so sorry you had to go through that. sometimes you just feel like the universe has singled you out, right!? feel better and have a better week!

  4. Erica March 6, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    Oh man, that is horrible! So sorry that happened to you Erin!

  5. victoria | vmac+cheese March 6, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    OMG, I’m so horrified and sorry that this happened to you. How terrible!! I hope that even though you saw the positivity out of it, that on the logistical side, the police were able to do something. Just awful. I hope you have a relaxing rest of the week and have some peace and tranquility this weekend!

    And PS, of course you should share even when it’s not all sunshine and rainbows and photo booths! The authenticity is the best part :)

  6. Marisa March 6, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    OMG! I CAN NOT! That is insane! If that happened to me I would have lost it! I’m glad you shared and I’m glad I read the whole thing! I hope they find out what happened to all your things! How violating!

  7. Erin | Holtwood Hipster March 6, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    Erin No! I can’t believe that happened to you and all the other girls! What an awful, awful thing. The feeling of violation- I can totally appreciate that you felt that way. I’ve had it happen too- in our own home when I was a kid and its almost as strong of a feeling today as it was 30 years ago. You must’ve been just about ready to give up and go home. Nobody would’ve blamed you. But what a way to fight back and make the best of your weekend anyway. I hope that you get some closure on this with the PD and that if they are not able to recover your items, then at least find who did it. Jerks.

  8. Jessica March 6, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    I’m SO sorry this happened while you were there. How horrible! Thank you for sharing your story and your heart in the midst of such a sad time!

  9. Melissa March 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    How terrible! I’m so sorry you had such a rough experience on top of not feeling your usual spunky self. I’m glad some good bonding time with a bunch of creative ladies was able to be the weekend’s silver lining though. I can’t wait to hear about the all the fun things you did and made.

  10. alicia March 7, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry that happened to you. It’s literally a nightmare :( But I think it’s great that you shared it here and I hope things take a swift turn for the better ASAP!

  11. Brittany March 7, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    What a lovely way to sum that up. <3

  12. Kari March 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    Geez! This is terrible! I’m so sorry you had to go through this! At least you had some special and sweet women by your side to help you. Here’s hoping things are already looking up:)

  13. caroline [the diy nurse] March 8, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    I feel so awful for you! What a rough way to spend your week. We had a storage unit while I was in school. We were buying furniture before we moved into our first place together. One day everything was stolen. Down to the tupperware. And the brand new couch. These people were prepared. We think the owner was involved but couldn’t prove anything. I know it’s just stuff. I knew it then and I know it now. But it was OUR stuff for OUR future life together and I felt so violated.

    I hope your recovery, however it manifests, is swift. And I hope your weekend somehow balances out all the negative. Take care!

    • Erin | House of Earnest March 10, 2014 at 10:07 am #

      Caroline – That is terrible! It was like your future was robbed! I’m so sorry that happened to you!

  14. Tara March 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    Oh my goodness, Erin! I’m so sorry that all of that happened! I hope your emotional healing happens fast (sounds like you got a good start with hanging out with those great ladies!) and that they might even recover a few of your things. I had a camera stolen from me on vacation full of pictures from my one and only cruise, as well as photos from Scott and my first 6 months together. I still have the memories, of course, but it’s so sad to lose something like that that obviously has no meaning to the thieves!

  15. Kasey March 25, 2014 at 1:27 am #

    Erin – I’m just catching up on your blog. Thanks for sharing this experience in a super honest way. I think we all go through things that make us feel out of control (something us type A people don’t deal well with) but these are truly the experiences that make us stronger and help us grow. I hope all is well with you lady – I think you are impressive beyond words.

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