Happy Three Years to Coffee + Crumbs!

Last year I spent the two-year anniversary of Coffee + Crumbs at the ice cream parlor with a couple of mom friends. We toasted our water glasses as six children licked whipped cream off their lips on an otherwise totally average Friday.

This year, July 1 fell on a Saturday, the same weekend we happened to be in the country visiting my grandparents. We ate Grandma's cherry cheese pie (crust made from scratch, #obviously) and rode Grandpa's horses. We sat in the driveway while the kids played with magna tiles and listened to the birds sing as my Grandpa told us story after story. 

My grandparents have lived in the country for seventeen years, and they are the epitome of retirement goals. Simple life. Fresh air. Their backyard is home to two horses, a few squirrels, and a family of hummingbirds. 

The funny thing about their house is that it hasn't changed much in seventeen years. And, most of their house today contains the same artifacts and furniture from their previous house—the one I spent lots of time in as a child. The same photos hang on the walls, the same coffee table sits in the family room, the same dining room table rests under the same pale pink tablecloth. Walking through their house is like strolling through a museum of where I come from. Baby pictures of me are hung beside baby pictures of my mom. Old pictures of my grandma are propped up on shelves next to old pictures of her mom. Everything is familiar. Everything is the same.

My brother and I spent a lot of time at my grandparents' house growing up. I remember my grandma would serve us Eggo waffles with Hershey's chocolate syrup on top, an entree that never quite matched her dining room mantra: "Eating is serious business." (No offense, Grandma, but there was nothing serious about waffles slathered in chocolate sauce.) I remember my grandpa would take us for rides around the neighborhood in the radio flyer wagon. Back then they were made of metal, not plastic, and certainly didn't have cup holders. They actually weren't very comfortable, come to think of it. I remember he always wore overalls and had traces of drywall on his fingertips, proof of a hard day's work. 

Anytime I visit my grandparents, a wave of nostalgia washes over me. I remember myself as a kid, the little girl I used to be. I sang and danced constantly; any quiet moment was fair game for a performance. I loved to read. I loved to write. And more than anything, I loved to pretend to be a mom. 

While I'm no longer obsessed with dancing and singing (cue: my husband sighing in relief), I do still love to read and write. And, thankfully, I don't have to pretend anymore—I became a real mom five years ago.  

In a lot of ways, Coffee + Crumbs feels like an untapped childhood dream come true. I get to read and write about motherhood while mothering my very own kids. I get to be a storyteller, and help other women be storytellers, too. 

I think of all the jobs I had before this one ... waitress, nanny, executive assistant, communications coordinator, wellness concierge, marketing manager. My (extremely outdated) LinkedIn profile seems like it was composed a lifetime ago. And while I truly enjoyed some of those jobs (the hotel gig came with great perks!), there is no comparison to the joy I find in what I do now. 

Coffee + Crumbs is three years old, and this is officially the longest job I've ever had. 

I worry I'm becoming a bit of a broken record at this point because anytime I write something like this, I tend to say the same thing over and over again. But, three years in, it still holds true. This is my dream job. And on our three year anniversary, it feels important to tell you that again. I am crazy grateful for this work, for this team, and for all of you. 

Any time you read this blog, listen to the podcast, buy our book, donate on Patreon, leave a comment, drop us an e-mail, or sign up for whatever creative course we're offering at the moment—you are telling us to keep going. Thank you for that. You, the C+C readers, have shown up time and time again with steadfast encouragement and unwavering support. You've shown us that fostering empathy and compassion on the Internet is possible, and that grace can absolutely exist in the comment sections between women who may parent differently from one another. You have exuded such warmth in this space, such open arms to us, and I cannot possibly thank you enough for that. 

We love writing here. 

Thank you for loving us well for three whole years. It's truly our honor and privilege to keep going. 

In sincere gratitude, 
Ashlee Gadd

p.s. Grandma, if you're reading this, it's "Coffee + Crumbs" not "Cookies + Crumbs" ... love you!