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The Monthly Edit: January 2020

Alyssa Nguyen


The Monthly Edit: January 2020

A NOTE FROM PEI: 

Hey everyone! I hope you all have had a wonderful start to the new year! It’s wild to think we are going into our 5th year as a business and I find that the new year has always been a great time to reflect back. A lot of people are eager to just charge full steam ahead but sometimes you’ve got to slow down first! I love rounding up the good things that happened the year before and come from a place of gratitude for what the previous year has allowed to happen in my life, both personally and for the P+CP. 

I’m working on so many things behind the scenes - albeit a lot slower than usual as I learn how to fill my role as a small business owner while also being a mom to a sweet little baby girl. Sometimes it feels conflicting that my personal life can cross over into the business but I suppose that’s what small business is - it is personal in so many ways.

One of my many goals this year is to continue to be transparent about everything that goes into this business which will include snippets of my own life behind the scenes. I’m grateful for all of you who have followed along all these years and who have been cheering us on - especially in the past year and for sure in the past couple of months since Penelope was born, it’s been truly a huge blessing to feel y’alls love and support through this community online and in-person through our shop + studio!

xo, Pei


HERE’S A LOOK BACK AT LAST YEAR AT THE PAPER + CRAFT PANTRY!

2019 in Numbers: 

# of greeting cards sold: over 5000!

# of workshops hosted: 90

# of workshop students who learned something new: 1100

# of community events hosted: 21

# of small businesses supported through our retail shop + workshop studio: 134

# of times we felt grateful for you: COUNTLESS


NEW YEAR FORECAST + 2020 GOALS

 

  • Discovering unique paper goods to bring into our shop (with a focus on really special and unique designers)

  • Adding more giftables to our shelves so we can be a one stop shop for y’all

  • Expanding our in-house P+CP line

  • Curate an exciting workshop and event calendar

  • More connection with our community in person and online too!

We usually host multiple goal setting workshops in our studio in the beginning of each year and this is the first year we haven’t - so I’m working on a free printable mini goal guide for y’all that I plan to have up in the next week or so! Stay tuned!


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

Y’all know how quickly our workshops tend to fill up, so don’t say we didn’t warn ya!



UPCOMING EVENTS

Jan BOOK CLUB

Be a part of our complimentary community book club here at The Paper + Craft Pantry! 

To kick of the new 2020 year, we'll be reading More Than Enough by Miranda Anderson. You're welcome to read at your own pace through the month, just come to the meeting ready to discuss the entire book! 

We welcome everyone to be a part of our book club but we do require a complimentary RSVP via Facebook if you can :)

Here's a little reminder about how our book club is hosted:

  • We are sharing our book picks by the quarter. So you’ll be able to get an idea of what books are coming up!

  • Book club nights will take place on the last Wednesday of each month from 6pm-7:15pm. January's meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 29th!

  • Book club members are encouraged to bring a snack to share at the meeting and we’ll provide a glass of wine for everyone.

  • Book club members will vote on the next quarters books!

FEB VDAY POP UP

 

SAVE THE DATE FOR OUR 5TH ANNUAL VALENTINE’S MARKET!

Join us for a Sunday funday filled with all of our favorite things just in time for Valentine’s Day! We’ve rounded up some incredible small businesses who will be popping up in our studio for the afternoon. In addition to picking up the perfect card + stationery from our shop, you’ll be able to pick up flowers to baked goods and locally made bath goodies to on-the-spot custom poetry for the loves in your lives!

SO SWING BY FOR AN AFTERNOON OF LOCAL LOVE + LOCAL FUN!

2020 Featured Vendors:

Lovelily Flowers

The Good Hippie - all natural apothecary + bath goods

The Matcha Cart - serving up the best matcha beverages

Typewriter Poetry - by Scott James

Whisk ATX - delicious macarons!

FEB BOOK CLUB

Be a part of our complimentary community book club here at The Paper + Craft Pantry! 

For February, we'll be reading The Cactus by Sarah Haywood. You're welcome to read at your own pace through the month, just come to the meeting ready to discuss the entire book! 

We welcome everyone to be a part of our book club but we do require a complimentary RSVP via Facebook if you can :)

Here's a little reminder about how our book club is hosted:

  • We are sharing our book picks by the quarter. So you’ll be able to get an idea of what books are coming up!

  • Book club nights will take place on the last Wednesday of each month from 6pm-7:15pm. February’s meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 26th!

  • Book club members are encouraged to bring a snack to share at the meeting and we’ll provide a glass of wine for everyone.

  • Book club members will vote on the next quarters books!


LIFE LATELY:

In case you’re wondering how life is with a new born...one word: HARD. So so so much harder than I could have imagined or anticipated, it’s truly given me a whole new respect for other women who are moms (especially with multiples!) Penelope is an incredible little human and I’m 100% biased but I think she’s just the cutest thing ever - but it’s been a big life change and adjustment all around. I also may have 100% underestimated just how big of a life change and adjustment it would be for me. And to be honest, I really thought that by now (she just turned 2 months last week) I’d be in some sort of rhythm in this new life of mine. Spoiler alert: I’m totally not adjusted and there’s no such thing as a daily rhythm with a baby haha

Feel free to skip through to the bottom for a cute newborn photo ;)


Alright, I feel like to update y’all would require me writing a freaking novel so I’ll just break it up into little bits instead. So here goes!

Penelope’s Birth Story:

First, I’ll go back to the weeks leading up to her birth. It was no secret I was just not a fan of pregnancy, from the symptoms to also enduring it through a brutally hot Texas summer...it was just not fun. I did not feel like I glowed, and if anyone thought I was, it was probably just me sweating during the summer. Looking back, it’s weird to think I tried to maintain that things were mostly normal when it came to work or when I was physically at the shop.

My birth plan was to not have a plan. But we went ahead and hired a doula (who was a huge support throughout!), I attended pre-natal workout classes, went to acupuncture and got regular massages (by the end of pregnancy I was so uncomfortable sometimes the only time I got to really snooze was during these massages, I found a therapist at a place close to where I live and I’m going to need to thank her again for not laughing when I fell asleep and snorted myself awake during my session) One of the big things I knew for sure I wanted to avoid was a c-section, for the sole reason that it’s major abdominal surgery and it sounded really painful/scary.

Fast forward to a few weeks before my due date, we went in for an ultrasound and found out that the baby was breeched. I’m sure having a ton of hormones didn’t help but I was SO upset about it. My OB suggested I chat with my acupuncturist as well as scheduled me for a ECV (external cephalic version) at the hospital the following week. I literally tried everything between that appointment and the ECV. The acupuncturist gave me these moxa sticks (looks like a cigar and it emits heat) and I was to use it to heat my outer edge of my pinky toes as it’s supposed to encourage the baby to flip. I know it sounds insane but I mean even my OB suggested it and no one knows why it sometimes works. I was supposed to do this every day and then basically be in some sort of inversion (like downward dog) to make room for the baby to turn. This was extra not fun since I had really bad carpal tunnel from pregnancy and being on your hands/wrists with all the extra pregnancy weight was brutal. 

Well it didn’t work, and Evan only burned my toe once (it was an accident). And I ended up going in for the ECV the following week. They basically poured a small travel sized bottle of olive oil (seriously) on my belly and my OB plus another doctor proceeded to try to turn the baby from the outside aka it felt like they were trying to rearrange all my internal organs with their hands on my belly. AND IT HURT SO BAD - I don’t know if I just have the world’s lowest pain tolerance but it was horrible. I also felt immense guilt for trying to “force” the baby to flip when he or she clearly didn’t want to or maybe couldn’t for reasons we could not see or know about.

Well it didn’t work either. So my OB scheduled me for a C Section the following week. Again, cue the waterworks. I was a huge ball of emotion from fear, anxiety, stress, you name it and I felt it. I googled a lot, Amazon Primed a book about C Sections, read other people’s birth stories who had C Sections to try to ease some of the fear. And basically just cried a ton about it. 

 It felt like even though I tried so hard to do everything “right” to avoid a C Section, this baby had other plans. 

Having a deadline of when to have this baby in theory sounds way better than not knowing when you would go into labor, but it really felt like I was going in for a HUGE test or interview that I wasn’t allowed to prepare for. I honestly had never felt more scared of anything in my life. What if the anesthesia didn’t work and I could feel everything? What if the baby isn’t ok? What if I am in so much pain post surgery I wouldn’t be able to care for the baby? What if I’m in so much pain I won’t be able to bond with the baby? What if someone accidentally leaves a surgical tool inside my abdomen? What if the stress I’ve been feeling for weeks somehow affects the baby?

I’m fairly certain that I spent most of the week leading up to the scheduled c section in tears. Any time someone would message me online or if a friend texted to ask how I was doing I would just cry because I didn’t feel okay but I also didn’t know how to communicate what I was feeling at the time. 

Fast forward to the morning at the hospital (still crying btw haha) it was kind of a blur but Evan reminded me of how I basically interrogated the anesthesiologist about his credentials like how long he’s been doing this, how he’s going to determine how much to give me so I don’t feel anything etc. I think I also questioned my OB one last time before I was taken into the operating room. 

The operating room was SO bright and SO cold. There were so many people in there moving around and I was literally shaking in fear. One of the nurses held me in a hug on the table so they could give me the numbing shot before the anesthesia was administered. She would be one of the many nurses who would help care for me over the next couple of days and although I don’t remember all of their names, I’ll never ever be able to repay them for the kindness and care they showed me during such a vulnerable time.

I’m so grateful that we chose not to find out the baby’s gender because it was something exciting in the midst of all the other not so positive feelings I had about the delivery. When they got the baby out, I remember Evan saying she was a girl! And I don’t think I really comprehended anything (still crying by the way), they whisked her to the side to get her checked out and I recall just hearing her scream/cry/yell. It seemed like it took forever for them to get me stitched back up and I think I told Evan to make sure no one left their iPhone inside me.

And this is how Penelope June came into the world.