What Our Valentine's Day Really Looked Like

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and for the better part of the afternoon I watched my Valentine tinker with his Valentine: his new coffee roaster, a small sample roaster identical to its big brother coming in a couple months. We've been very quiet about this on social media, but it's been the Life Plan almost four years now: Nick and I are opening a coffee roastery here in Truckee this year (!!!). More details to come but for now...

I marvel at how my husband has pursued this business while working full-time on other endeavors (relaunching Sessions for one, flipping a house for another). Nick's labored as a barista and roasting apprentice; his coffee verbiage usually goes over my head. He's worked unbelievably hard for this. He wakes up early each day and is often out the door before I see him, sometimes leaving a half finished cup of lukewarm coffee on the counter. His pursuit has never wavered; he's never questioned his calling to become a specialty coffee roaster. The Call was even with him during his snowboarding career; when he stood on a platform at X Games and was handed a medal, he knew someday he would stand in his own coffee shop and pour latte art for tourists.

The Calling. I have it myself; in fact, I've had it my whole life. To be an artist. I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart my life's purpose is to create and to inspire. My pursuit of this purpose has evolved; life's happened, as it tends to do. At times, my Calling morphed into Instagram photos and being a touted "iPhoneographer"  other times, watercolor paintings of octopus tentacles  other times, publishing my first book. I began taking oil painting lessons when I was ten years old and have been obsessed with creating ever since.

I think this is why Nick and I have always gotten along on a core level: a mutual sense of knowing our Callings and pursuing them against all odds. Ready for a moment of realness? Our marriage has been rocky since Day 1. Marriage counselors have warned us that sometimes counseling leads to relationships ending. We remind ourselves that marriage is most importantly about friendship and thus we are (usually) content. I can't give up on this and neither can he. We are clawing together, at one another and at life, to pursue something so much bigger and deeper and more meaningful than anything resembling normal. Travel and adventure have become our token identities; also making many things arguably more difficult for us. And more exciting!

Some days I crave stability. A normal, relatively quiet life with plenty of friends and small doses of spontaneous adventure where maybe we have a dog and want to have a kid soon. Reality is a suitcase in the next room still unpacked from my last trip, bags of green coffee to my left waiting to be roasted and dark circles under my eyes from all the "too excited/anxious to sleep" nights. We are entrepreneurs; we're risk takers and thrill seekers. So we're taking and seeking.

Perhaps a little propelled by my blindness and perhaps a little propelled by my madness, I want to gobble up the whole world. Memories over materials, Nick likes to say. He's the same damn way.

This erratic-but-honest post was fueled from the emotions that bubbled watching Nick fire up his coffee roaster for the first time yesterday. And so begins the next chapter of our lives. I marvel in that man. It's cliché to say this, but we're very blessed. I've never felt so grateful, and so excited for what's to come. It's going to be hard, but worth it.