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Faceplant Blog

From Madness to Merry: Faceplant Family Edition

From Madness to Merry: Faceplant Family Edition

By a show of hands, who thought 2020 was hard? And then came 2021! 
 
We’ve all faced insurmountable challenges as we navigate the social graces of Covid and cultural divides that we’ve never imagined. It’s easy to become frustrated by it all.
 
But if you look deeply enough, the same beautiful experiences that make our hearts sing are right there where they’ve always been. They’re buried in moments of magic. It just takes an open mind and perspective grounded in gratitude and love to uncover and savor the beautiful moments.  
 
As we reflect on these past months, amidst the challenges, we recognize the beauty that each of you has brought to our lives. Whether you are a retail partner, one of our favorite reps or you purchase from us online, your purchases, support and feedback are our sustenance. So, for starters, we want to thank you.  
 
And our entire team has been thinking about the perfect gift for you. You deserve something really special, and we’ve been kicking around ideas for weeks. What will make you smile? What will fill your heart with holiday joy? 
 
Someone suggested cozy pajamas, which we didn’t think was a bad idea really. But we decided to think harder. 
 
You’ve all read the memo that the favorite gift this season is either ‘Experiences’ or ‘Comforts’, right? After fully absorbing that nugget of cultural wisdom, we decided to give you experiences. Loving ones, happy ones, joyful ones, filled with family, friends, humor and favorite moments that have made life richer in the past 18 months, despite it’s challenges. 
 
We’ve dug into our hearts and our memories to share these moments worth celebrating... the one’s that have made OUR hearts sing. Because we’re thankful for you. For the support, love and business you share with us throughout the year.
 
So snuggle up in your favorite pajamas, warm some cocoa and light the fire. We hope the stories from our team will make your hearts sing too.
Faceplant Employee since 2017
 
I found myself living alone for the first time in years, with empty bedrooms in my home and vacant space in my heart. Enter Granny. When Covid lockdowns began, my 82-year-old granny was visiting from Ohio and scheduled to go home in the spring. Covid travel restrictions put a hold on everyone’s plans including Granny.
 
Then my younger brother Jake arrived to give Florida a try. Granny and Jake hadn’t spent time together in years. With no place to go outside, we started nightly card games, puzzles, new recipes together and family viewing of our favorite reality dating show.
On Thanksgiving, Granny shared her famous “hillbilly green beans” recipe. And amidst the turmoil of the world outside, the inside of our home was filled with love and resurrected family experiences. We’ve continued pushing granny’s return to Ohio down the road… and now it’s been 2 glorious years that I’ve had the privilege of housing my favorite snowbird granny and brother. I’m so grateful for the family time and full house.
Faceplant Employee since 2011
 
I’ve found the past couple years very challenging. Covid enhanced some people’s living options and they moved to a better climate or more desirable location. My beautiful rental on the river I enjoyed for 7 years was suddenly worth twice what I paid.
Rentals are hard to come by and on short notice, I rented a relatively small house with my son and his family. I was missing my own space, missing my own kitchen and missing my quiet. I began hibernating in the garage, the only space for my many crafting projects.
One day, my eldest granddaughter joined me, and we had a beautiful conversation where she shared things I never knew. The next day, her younger sister showed up and did the same.
They now entrust me with intimate details of their lives that I think were seeking a soft place to land. We laugh and we cry together, and our relationships have blossomed in ways I never expected.
 
When I was asked to share a story of beauty from the past couple of years, I had a difficult time coming up with something. But with a little thought and shift of my perspective, I realize how grateful and honored I am to have this newfound trust and friendship with my granddaughters.
Faceplant Employee since 2020
 
In the spring of 2020, I sold everything I owned, quit my job and was moving across the country for a new start in Oregon. My best friend Ava (sometimes called my ‘sister’) was moving with me.
As the country locked down, so did opportunities and my bravado, and I decided to stay in Tampa. I was disappointed, houseless and jobless, but not friendless.
 
My dear friend Annette invited me to live with her and teach yoga in her studio. I was trained as a yoga instructor for personal growth but had never thought of actually mustering up the bravery to teach. Fate has a way of guiding us however, and I quickly found a comfortable niche teaching 5 classes a week. From 'never wanting to teach', I fell in love with teaching.
 
But teaching wasn’t enough to support me. Annette invited me along for a weekend retreat where I met Brigitte, the owner of Faceplant. And it was love at first sight for both of us!
 
A few weeks later, I dropped a couple of my yoga classes, two side gigs and a heavy load of stress balls as I joined the Faceplant Family full time. As the pandemic began, I thought I was starting on a new adventure. And it turns out I was right.
Faceplant Employee since 2017
 
Engaged and in the midst of wedding planning, the pandemic threw a whirlwind our way. Vendor cancellations, economic unknowns, and the safety of having so many of our loved ones together in one place, all became poignant concerns.
 
Hesitantly, we decided to go ahead with our ceremony, minus the musicians, catering, decorations, DJ, venue, and all the guests. But what was our wedding going to look like? Was it going to be as beautiful as we had imagined?
 
On December 26, 2020, I did my own hair in my parents’ bathroom and clipped my mother’s pearls around my neck. My father walked me down a garden path to meet my groom. My mother, a notary public, officiated and my sister photographed the occasion.
 
All-in-all, there were six of us and it was picture-perfect. Standing there with my husband, holding a single bouquet of flowers, and saying “I do” was a moment far better than any we could have planned.
Faceplant Employee since 2021
 
I anxiously awaited my 18th birthday so I could start my own life away from my controlling father. Adulthood wasn’t as easy as I expected, and I made a few bad choices. When things got scary, I would make plans to go live in Florida with my sister Jen, but it just never happened.
 
In the spring of 2020, I was living with a difficult and manipulative roommate, lost my job and wasn’t sure where to turn. So, I called my Dad. For the first time in my life, I found myself appreciating his control and direction. He picked me up, bought me a plane ticket and arranged to send all my things to Jen in Florida.
 
The week I arrived, I found a job at a local car wash and they continued to give me more and more hours. I met my friend Eli, who immediately took brother status in my life, and started my new hobby of fishing in Florida. I found myself smiling and laughing more. I realized I was no longer scared.
One day, Jen came home and told me there was a job opening at Faceplant. Kevin called me and that’s where my Faceplant adventure began.
 
The past 2 years may have been difficult for many, for me it has felt like a new beginning. Stay tuned for what comes next!
 Faceplant Employee since 2021
 
I’m an on-time, diligent, plans-everything-in-advance person. When Plan A doesn’t work, I’ve got plans B and C right behind it. But there was no planning for the impact of Covid and the lockdowns on my life.
The panic was beyond overwhelming for so many people in the world including me. I lost not one, but both of my jobs. I had no money, rent was due in two weeks, utilities were owed, and I was unable to navigate the unemployment office.
 
Then something “magical” happened. I woke one morning with a weird sense of comfort as I realized that EVERYONE was going through this. EVERYONE was in this together. I wasn’t singled out and the world was not moving on without me.
As this reality hit me, I reflected on the positives of my life that were otherwise easily forgotten in the hustle and bustle of life.
 
I was living in the downstairs apartment of a Florida Keys canal house located just a few docks down from the ocean. I wasn’t rushing to shower, get dressed and head out the door to get to work on time. There was time to finish my morning coffee and maybe even a puzzle or two. And I realized in no time that going without makeup made my skin look better than it did when I was 14!
 
That morning, I walked outside to a magnificent sunrise with my coffee. I dropped into the hammock and admired the shifting colors as the dawn awakened the ocean that reflected the beauty back like a mirror.
 
Even as I witnessed the panic in the world, and I didn’t know how I was going to navigate my personal life, I was able to simply breathe in the beauty. My mind was clear and relaxed, and in that moment, I finally trusted that somehow, everything was going to be OK.
Faceplant Employee since 2020
 
Despite having a somewhat eccentric family, I had a pretty ‘normal’ American childhood. I’d been exposed to a lot of cultures and ideas, and heard my mom’s stories of her own upbringing, but never gave it much thought until May 2021. My Mom reminded me that we hold dual citizenship, and with an Italian passport, we were able to visit the E.U at a time when most were unable to travel.
 
Flights were finally affordable, so we went to visit my Uncle Yusuf in Rotterdam. He is a Project Manager for Covid testing centers throughout The Netherlands, and like everyplace in the world, the country was struggling with staffing issues. I was only meant to stay for 10 days but was invited to work at a testing site for the entire summer where I tested hundreds of patients daily.
 
Every day, I traveled an hour to and from Amsterdam by train. At first it was intimidating, but I learned to love getting lost, then finding my way again. People were surprised to hear an American accent in their local clinic, but even with the language barrier, everyone was very welcoming and helpful.
 
I loved bonding with my family, eating Bitterballen, and seeing the extraordinary architecture. I became one of the walking commuters.  This connection inspired interaction on a very personal level despite the necessities of social distancing.
I felt a deep sense of humility and awe. Around each corner I witnessed both the history of the city and the kinship of the people.
 
At a very visceral level, I felt a spirit of unity. I saw firsthand the value of “loving thy neighbor”. I was humbled and honored to experience such beauty.
Faceplant Employee since 2018
 
In March 2020 I was living with my boyfriend in a beautiful condo and working a part time job to save money to buy a house. I often cooked for two but ate alone. I went to bed alone and started my day alone. But with our two dogs, I made believe we were a family.
 
We all pretend sometimes, and I was pretending that my relationship was fulfilling and loving. Enter Covid lockdowns. I lost my second job and as the main financial support in our relationship, tensions increased. I loved my condo, I loved my boyfriend, but I was lonely, and I wasn’t happy.
 
With finances as the driving force, I ended my loneliness and stress with one quick move…. into my best friends’ home. I found myself living in a welcoming community with 3 other people who love me unconditionally, something I wasn’t experiencing in my relationship.
 
We cook together, we visit around the backyard firepit and sometimes simply enjoy a quick morning coffee together with a catch up on each other’s lives. No more pretending. This is family.

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