If you care about WHY we're separating Naptime Diaries + Jess Connolly, read the mini-novel below, if you're just interested in the giveaway - Skip to the bottom!
During the summer of 2009, I was a young and tired mama who was super isolated and liked to write. I'd been blogging for about four years, but I didn't live a blogger's lifestyle - like most imagine now. I shared a cell phone, car, and laptop with my husband who was gone 40-50 hours a week and I had three babies under three. My days were filled with diapers (so many diapers), stress (mothering small children was very hard for me), and lots of discouragement. I was walking through some serious postpartum depression, but didn't know to call it that, and didn't really know what I needed or how to take care of myself. But I did know how to write, albeit not necessarily well, so I did that. Once a week Nick would let me go to Starbucks with the computer and I'd write a few blog posts for the week. And thus, Naptime Diaries (the blog) was born.
During the spring of 2011, I was a little less young and a tiny bit less tired still mom of three. My three year old daughter had just lived through a horrible set of grand mal seizures (and the subsequent brain trauma that the Lord healed her from) and we were in the beginning stages of figuring out what was going on in her brain and how best to care for her. So many people sent me Psalm 46:5 to pray for her and I eventually tried my hand at making a little print with the verse on it to hang in her room. I showed it to a friend, she suggested I open an Etsy shop, so I got a little brave and did it. I had no idea what I was doing and very little hopes, but Naptime Diaries print shop was born then.
Fast forward three and a half years later, the shop is our full time family business and we're also able to employ three other gals, support two church plants, as well as give to a number of charities. It's much, much bigger than me trying to design some piddly prints on my laptop while not being super sure where to even print them. I'm blown away and incredibly grateful for all God has done with the shop and I'm just excited to be on this ride as long as He'll have us. We grow more passionate about painting scripture on hearts + homes as the days go by and we've got no plans on stopping anytime soon.
Buuuuut, what about this blog? As other people have come along to help us run Naptime Diaries, my time has been freed up to write and that's just what I've been doing - just not so publicly. I'm in the middle of working on two book proposals and have various freelance stuff going on. And I have a million and one things I want to BLOG about, but it didn't feel right to keep both things under the same umbrella. So as of today, NaptimeDiaries and Jess Connolly are splitting up. I still personally run the shop, but this blog will be my own and my accounts on social media will be as well. There are a few major reasons for this:
1. Naptime Diaries is more than just me now! Jacey (our business + brand manager) is a huge part of NTD as well as two other ladies (who we'll be introducing soon) and Nick still plays a pretty major role in the direction and planning.
2. My desires for writing don't super fit under what Naptime Diaries originally began as. First of all - I rarely write during naptime :) and my days as a mostly-mommy-blogger are gone. I love my kids more than life, but I don't plan on blogging about them too frequently. The shop will still be called Naptime Diaries even though it has nothing to do with naptime, but at least the blog name can make sense.
3. I want people to be able to pick what they're looking for and not HAVE to hear both. If you want to hear about Jesus, motherhood + business, living an inspired life, ministry, style, and a host of other things - come to the blog! If you want to see some inspiring prints and scripture designed in fresh new ways, follow the shop! I hope you'll do both, but I don't want anyone to have to be bombarded by one when looking for the other.
So now that that's all out of the way, how about a giveaway to celebrate?
We're going big since we're only going to do this once! You pick how many times you enter based on how many of the following accounts you want to keep up with. What are we giving away, you ask? Well, A TON.
One person will win an iPad Mini! (what, what!)
One person will win a $100 Anthropologie gift card!
+ one person will win 15 8x10 prints of their choice from Naptime Diaries Shop!
Now, I'll stop talking and you guys go enter and we'll see you on the internet. We've got some fun things up our sleeve for the shop AND the blog this fall and we sure hope you'll follow along with both! Love you guys so, so much.