a love letter.

One year ago today, I launched Coffee + Crumbs with a hope and a prayer that we would become a place for mothers to find truthful storytelling and quiet "me too's" throughout their week. Over 115 essays later, I think we are well on our way. A few weeks ago we received the following submission and spoiler alert: I cried. It feels weird to publish a love letter to ourselves (#humblebrag), but one of our readers asked us to post this on our one-year anniversary, and, well, I couldn't possibly say no. 

To every single one of our readers: thank you for reading our stories, for encouraging us as writers, for encouraging us as mothers, for leaving comments and sharing our essays all over the Internet. We seriously love you guys. 

To every single one of our guest writers: thank you for contributing to the bigger story we are trying to tell, for adding your voice to our collective memoir, for choosing us to share your words. 

And thank you, especially, to Violeta, for this incredibly kind tribute on our one-year anniversary today. 

In love and gratitude,
Ashlee Gadd

First off, are we close enough for me to call you C+C? Okay, cool.

Dear C+C,

I'd like to take the mic for a minute and speak on behalf of all of us. All of us being the readers. The mamas. The soon-to-be mamas and the hoping-to-be mamas. The ones who read these beautifully written essays in the middle of the night, during nap time, or piece by piece throughout different times of the day because, one word: toddlers. This is our love letter to you, C+C. An overdue thank you for one full year of inspiration. One full year of shared joy, tears, laughs and breakthroughs. Thank you. Thank you for being the hand to hold when we are scared, the shoulder to lean on when we need a good cry, and for the words of encouragement when we need that extra boost to get us through the day. But most importantly C+C, thank you for reminding us that in the end, we are never alone in this journey we call motherhood.

I gave birth to my son on July 8th of last year, right around the time this blog was launched, which I think is a big reason why it is so near and dear to my heart. The newborn phase hit me hard. I was lost, scared, anxious, confused and unbelievably sleep deprived. My son had colic and so long as he was awake, he was crying. I had no idea how intense those first few months of motherhood could be, and I felt completely alone. Until one day I came across When Love Feels Heavy by N'tima Preusser. Each word written in that post slowly healed the broken parts of me in the most loving way, which is exactly what I needed at the time. I read it every day. And every time I did, I felt more and more understood and less and less alone. It felt like a message written personally to me, as I'm sure many first time mamas probably did. But the funny thing is, every post on this blog seems to do that. No matter what the story is, or who it's written by, there will always be a piece that you can relate to or that resonates with you. Because let's face it -- no matter what part of the world you lay your head down at night, we all have this common bond and deep rooted connection: understanding on the deepest level possible the all-encompassing role that is motherhood. This blog gives us a platform. A platform to share our creativity, our voice, our stories -- which to me, to us as readers -- is everything.

We aren't all blessed with the capability of expressing ourselves so beautifully with the written word, and that is where the writers come in. To the C+C writers: thank you for being so fearlessly vulnerable with your art and for peeling back the layers of yourselves. Thank you for sharing your words and your insights with all of us. Thank you for putting what we all feel so strongly in our hearts, into a wonderfully written essay that we can all enjoy time and time again. Thank you for having the ability to notice the mundane details of our day-to-day lives as moms, and to convey them as the little gifts and lessons that they are. 

As time goes on, and the new mamas become second time mamas, and the second time mamas become veteran mamas, let's continue this cycle with every new wave of mamas that emerge. Let's keep a space to feel inspired and lifted, to seek hope, to soak up every word until it simmers deep inside our hearts. Let's continue to celebrate in the joy, the blessing, and the magic that is motherhood. 

Here's to your first year Coffee + Crumbs! Keep giving us more. We're listening.

Guest post written by Violeta Whittaker. Violeta is a native Californian currently living in Boston, Massachusetts (also known as the north pole). She is a wife and stay at home mama to a little baby cub named James.

ps. Like the card in this photo? These gold foil cards will soon be available to order in our BRAND NEW ONLINE SHOP (!). Coming soon!