We believe life isn’t about the stuff; it’s about our actions and how we show up in the world with and for our children. And last year we made a change and started a new journey; we created a business founded on three principles, connection, creativity and community.
Connection, because as parents we know the importance of taking the time to connect with our little ones… it doesn’t matter if you’re a working parent, a stay at home parent, a work at home parent, a part-time working parent, single parent, parent of one little, or six littles, we all struggle with finding time and not drowning in to-dos and should haves. So we wanted to create something that made parents lives easier, that gets delivered to their door with everything they need to spend quality time connecting with their kiddos.
Creativity, because every child has an incredible imagination and we wanted to spark creativity and teach little ones that through their own creativity and imagination (while playing and having fun) they could (and do) make an impact. Every child is special and unique, every human has gifts and talents and has something only they can bring, create and offer into the world. So why not teach them as soon as we can how to shine bright and light up the world around them!
Community, because we are all a part of community, there are times we give and times we receive, but together we are better. We wanted to create something that helped parents talk to their children about community whether that was homelessness, feeding people who have no means for food, shoes to the shoeless worldwide, endangered animals, arts programs for children affected by cancer and so much more. We wanted to create something that showed the diversity of community, while also teaching the values of kindness, gratitude, empathy, and the power of love.Throughout this year we have learned so much. So much about our core values and beliefs, so much about how, what we believe so passionately and even built a business upon didn’t always line up with our own daily actions. Have you ever found yourself in that position? Where what you say is so important to you and then your actions don’t match it. Well, that’s where we found ourselves in two specific aspects. And as much as we created this business for ALL families, we also created Outside The Box for our family and it has really led us down a path we couldn’t have ever imagined last year!
We say life isn’t about the stuff. But what we realized is we have a LOT of stuff. I found myself buying more stuff to hold the overflowing stuff we had. I have been following the Minimalist for a while, but then we watched their documentary and we were struck hard. We realized the trap we fell in, we realized we were consumers of things we didn’t need and didn’t bring us happiness. For example we always talked about travel, but we could never “afford it” but why was that, well in part because we bought that new pillow at Target, and then that vase at West Elm, and then that etc, etc, etc. Instead of using our money for what we really wanted, we would spend it on a bunch of little instant gratifications that didn’t leave us fulfilled. So we decided to start selling stuff, we had a couple of garage sales and a) you wouldn’t even guess we sold a driveway full of stuff because our house was still full and b) you would’ve thought we bought stock in glass or that I frequently entertained royalty with all the glass wear and vases we had. These garage sales just motivated us even more to make a change. We didn’t want our son to learn to work to just buy stuff, we wanted to teach him the value of experience and memory and adventure.We talk about connection. But what we realized is that we live a very busy lifestyle. My husband sits in traffic a minimum of 2+ hours a day and gets to spend about 30 minutes with our son before and after work, which is better than nothing, but add stress and exhaustion and frustration to those busy morning minutes and dinner/bath/bedtime routine and it’s not the most opportune moments to connect. We try hard to make it work (and we know lots of families face similar challenges, this isn’t judgment, this is just true transparency on a piece of our journey), but the day my husband told me that most of his memories of our little one come from my photos and social media posts my heart about burst, because that’s not what we wanted for our family or our little one. I also realized that even though I left my full-time job and even my part-time job at the homeless shelter I was still “busy” I also spend many hours in traffic driving here and there and then up late at night working on things for the business. So, all of this led us to make a change. Because we wanted to teach our little one that true success in life is about our connection to each other, the experiences we make, and creating a life that is about fulfilling those deeper callings in our hearts.Making a change. So after all of these realizations that came over months and months, and after a lot of prayer and thinking and talking we decided to make a change. We’re moving. So we’re changing our address, but more than that we’re changing our lifestyle. We’re moving so we can spend more time connecting, so we can create new adventures and experiences as a family. Our move involves owning less stuff because we’re trading that for the journey and the experience. Here it goes… wait for it… it’s incredibly exciting and overwhelming…we’re moving to Spain. That’s right, we’re selling our house and everything that doesn’t fit in our suitcases and we’re headed to Spain as a family. We know this type of move isn’t for everyone (again this is just us being transparent about our journey) and to be honest we’re scared as crap to make this huge move. We aren’t completely certain what it will look like, how we’ll adjust, what it will mean. But we know that if we didn’t take this opportunity we’d regret it and we truly feel this is the path we’re meant to follow in our life right now. I’ve been waiting to share this news with you until we had told all of our family and friends and we were 100% certain that this would be our new path. Plus I wasn’t quite sure how to share it because I want to be honest about our thoughts and feelings and plans, but wanted to express that truly this is our story about connection and honoring the value that we believe life isn’t about the stuff; it’s about our actions and how we show up in the world with and for our children. There are a lot of ways to minimize stuff without selling everything and moving to a new country… follow the minimalist on Instagram or listen to their podcast… this is not sponsored, they don’t even know who I am, but they are awesome and are an amazing resource in this area. There are a lot of ways to connect as a family without traveling abroad. Moving and traveling abroad is just the way we’ve chosen, but at the core is connection and valuing experience over things… and that is core to us, core to what we believe so many of us want as parents and core to Outside The Box.Speaking of, what does this mean for Outside The Box… well it means we keep going and growing as a community of families! We have the July Box coming out at the end of the month, we have the September Box in the works and in 2018 we’ll have 4 new boxes coming out. We also have some new things currently in the works that we’ll be announcing over the next couple of months. I’m excited to continue the journey to live Outside The Box with YOU! We believe in social consciousness, we believe in building community, we’re on a mission with you to empower kids through play to give back and create change.
We know this is a huge announcement and a huge change, but we’re so excited and truly want to live out and model the values we believe in. We hope you continue to join us on the journey through Outside The Box and continue to connect with us through Instagram and Facebook where we will continue to share what we learn, what inspires us, the mistakes we will make, and all of our Outside The Box updates!
If anyone wants to reach out and chat you can always email me or DM on Instagram!
Thank YOU for being a part of our community!