Steph’s Letter Fall/Winter 2011-2012
I’m so thankful to be able to sit down and write this long overdue letter for this long overdue catalog. It started as a Spring catalog, then a Spring/Summer, and now it is officially our Fall/Winter edition. Seems like I often talk about how busy things have been over the past season or what new and exciting things are happening in our lives and in Beeyoutiful. This “season” of our lives is no different and even BUSIER than any other time I can remember.
This past January, some close friends gathered with us to celebrate the New Year. As the last minutes of 2010 ticked away, we took turns sharing the desires of our hearts for the coming year and the various things we were going to ask God to do in our lives. When it was Steve’s turn, he shared that he was asking God for a child this year. Those of you who read my blog know about the struggles Steve and I have had with multiple miscarriages and a couple of adoption opportunities that didn’t pan out. Little did we know the answer to Steve’s prayer would happen so soon!
In February, we were surprised to learn that we had another little one on the way—in me! Because my thyroiditis doesn’t make for good gestation, we researched and adjusted our supplementation, lifestyle, and diet to do all we could do to give this baby a chance at life. We also prayed a lot and were elated when we made it through the first trimester, the point at which we’ve experienced all of our past problems.
Steve and I treated ourselves to a sonogram for our sixth wedding anniversary in May and found out we’re expecting a baby boy. We’re still rejoicing and counting the days (the approximate days, anyway) until his arrival sometime around the end of October. This little guy’s timing has been pretty remarkable, and his official due date is his Daddy’s birthday. Wouldn’t that be cool! Whether he shows up on his due date or not, though, just the idea he’s targeting Steve’s birthday seems like another remarkable affirmation of that wonderful New Year’s Eve prayer.
Big-sister-to-be Noelle is beside herself with joy that we will be adding another child to our family. She’s going to be one of the most amazing (if perhaps a little bossy) older sisters ever. I’m really grateful for her kindness, care, and sensitivity to children younger than she. Her brother is going to be a very fortunate li’l guy to have Noelle to show him some of the basics of life.
In the midst of our baby news, we got an offer on our house, which has been listed for sale off and on for more than two years. We’re still waiting to see if the deal will actually go through, so our personal lives wait for the financing wheels to turn and the fate of our house and a potential move to be determined.
Meanwhile, we actually did move Beeyoutiful! Thanks to our new quarters, almost all of our staff work in the same building together. Office staff, customer service reps, the shipping department, and the Beeyoutiful storefront are all in one place on the Centerville, Tennessee town square. So if you’re ever passing through middle Tennessee, give us a call or e-mail, and come visit the store!
In addition to the big business move to Town Square, we took a particularly interesting business trip. I mentioned in our last newsletter that Beeyoutiful premiered its first exhibit booth at a Weston A. Price Foundation conference in Pennsylvania. Following that, we made a second appearance at the Health Freedom Expo in Schaumburg, Illinois. It was really great to meet some of our customers face to face in the exhibit halls and also get acquainted with other people interested in nutrition and a natural lifestyle. We hope to do more conferences in the coming year if we can squeeze them in between “big life” events like baby’s arrival and moving.
As I confessed at the beginning of this letter—and as many of you no doubt noticed all on your own—this edition of the Beeyoutiful catalog is late. Very late. Part of it is due to overly busy life, but part is due to our attempt to adjust the production schedule and adjust the management of it all. As I write this, I’m weeks behind the deadline for my letter submission, which has caused our harried catalog project manager no small amount of stress. So a big, public thank-you to her and everybody else who works so hard to get these out the door for everyone to enjoy! Especially because our whole publishing crew has to work over, under, and around such a distracted individual as I have been lately, the thank-you is even bigger and heartier than usual.
An aspect of the new and improved plan for publications is something I think most of you are going to like a lot. Our goal is to provide more educational content and less “catalog” data on products. Right now, we walk a tightrope on space, attempting to preserve sufficient room to list all of our products in an orderly fashion while keeping enough space available to provide the educational articles and resources you love. The end result is our “cata-zine.” With the new priority on educational and helpful content and the adjustment of the production system, we hope to give you a more enjoyable reading experience. We also plan to put together an additional piece that will be purely a catalog with products, descriptions, and pictures updated about once a year. Those of you without internet access or who still prefer to browse products in a hold-it-in-your-hand-full-color-glory printed form will have that available in addition to the twice yearly Beeyoutiful Living magazine.
A recent conversation reminded me of one of my jobs years ago as a customer service agent for a large cell phone company. In an instant, I had flashbacks of what it was like to try to provide service to one of the most frustrated, miserable, verbally abusive, and all-around difficult group of consumers imaginable. The memory made me cringe, and I was flooded with gratefulness for the wonderful people we’ve been blessed with in our Beeyoutiful customers.
You all have made it such a joy to for us to share our journey and experiences as we learn more about tools to live a healthier life and strive to share them with you in the form of educational resources as well as the products themselves. From the bottom of our hearts: Thank You! We truly value the relationships and friendships we’ve made through the years, and it is a special delight to know so many who have experienced healing from chronic health conditions and others who have successfully baby-stepped their way into healthier eating habits and fuller, more satisfied lives. May you continue learning to better care for your family’s health as you enjoy the offerings in this edition of Beeyoutiful Living.
Grace and Peace,