Nitt + Grit has been years in the making. Decades, really.

My life story has been defined, to a large degree, by a series of difficult challenges followed by achievements as a result of paying close attention to details and refusing to accept certain things as my destiny. Probably initially as a defense mechanism, I used what I witnessed and lived through to learn to fight and overcome with a steadfast resolve and relentless hope.

I learned from a very, very young age, that I could not control everything that happened to me. The only thing that I could control was how I chose to make my life better; to learn from what was not good and find a way to shape myself and my surroundings into who I wanted to be, who I always knew I was regardless of those paralyzing experiences. I set lofty goals for myself and I made those goals happen.

As the years passed and after I had successfully created the life I had dreamed of as a child,  I was faced with two major traumas that would change my life forever over the course of 6 years. These events challenged my sense of hope, optimism and any feeling of accomplishment that I had felt in overcoming the circumstances of my youth. In truth, they nearly ruined me. Forget about thriving, I just needed to survive. But this time I was a mother and a wife, and so much more was at stake. I wasn't just living for myself. I had to dig deeper than I ever had before to overcome. 

At the time of the last trauma, I was enjoying hard-earned success in my role in the craft + hobby industry as a designer. I found immense satisfaction in creating beautiful, happy, colorful pieces of art centered around the lovely life that my husband and I had cultivated for our children. But I never documented myself. It was something I didn't feel was important and I didn't want the dark cloud that defined many of my experiences to spoil what we had created for our little family. I wanted to brush it under the rug. I wanted to forget it and move on.

This last trauma changed everything for me, though. I grew completely intolerant of everything that seemed so perfect on social media and in blog posts. I became resentful of all the happy memories everyone was sharing. It didn't feel like "real" life and I couldn't stand it. In my state of mind, I didn't feel that I could celebrate anything remotely colorful or happy - it felt fake and not authentic to my experiences. At the time, I simply couldn't think of happiness being achievable ever again. That didn't last. It's taken nearly 4 years, lots of therapy and plain old time to come to a place of acceptance, hope and joy again.

This brings me back to Nitt + Grit. The idea came to me more than 3 years ago. I've worked in the industry of life documentation since 2008, but there is no segment that supports the idea of self-documenting the tough stuff in everyone's life. While the term is thrown around a lot (like confetti), life really isn't all about rainbows and unicorns. I believe the tough stuff should be documented, too. The process of documenting is already good for the soul. What if there was a format that embraced documenting the tough stuff? The nitty gritty stuff.

When my mother-in-law passed away two years ago, she left behind journals that dramatically changed how her children interpreted her life and decisions she made in their lives. It provided them with immense insight. I want my children to know what's defined me both as an individual and as their momma. 

I want to give you the opportunity to document the challenges in your life. I want you to be able to use your creativity to find the grit and determination within you to work through the tough stuff in your life and find the positive path to overcoming those challenges and traumas. It's my goal to provide you with the safe and creative outlet for you to express your sadness, anger, frustration, and all the other emotions that make up your authentic story.  It's my hope that you come out not only feeling better, but content knowing that somewhere you've documented your truth so that someday, whether it's tomorrow or a hundred years from now, you've authentically shared with those you love your personal truth. Welcome to Nitt + Grit.