2018 – Reflections

This time last year, life was HARD. And it would only get harder as the hours, days, weeks and months continued to pass. 2018 flipped my world upside down. I redefined my concepts of strength, love, God, hope, joy, faith, and grief several times.

In 2018, I probably said the f-word too much. I think I actually ran out of tears at some point. But with those terribly challenging moments came a handful of profoundly beautiful moments that lead me to a deeper understanding of what it means to love, and how I want to live.

In 2018, I experienced things that I hope you never have to go through. But, that’s life… So when you have a really rotten year, my wish for you is that you have the fortitude to cling to what’s good – to not lose sight of the horizon. And if you do lose sight of that horizon, I hope you’re able to look within, recenter yourself, and get back on track. I hope you don’t forget to laugh a little everyday – because 24 hours without laughter is a pretty dark day.

Part of what made this year so remarkable, was that in the midst of my grief, I went from being The Boss’s Daughter, to The Boss of two businesses overnight. I wondered how the heck I was supposed to fill this role. How do you go from 24-year-old-with-little-experience to CEO? They don’t teach you that in college. They don’t teach you that anywhere.

A huge part of what kept me sane through all this, was that in April two angels arrived from Northern Michigan. When they heard what was going on, my aunt and uncle (mom’s side: Aunt Marita and Uncle Eric) called my dad and said, “we’re coming to help.”

They packed up their house, rented it out, and put their lives and careers on hold. They drove across the country and they showed up, selflessly, in our time of greatest need. For that, words of gratitude aren’t enough. But I’ll say it anyway: I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.

2018 left me feeling, of all things, capable.

Greet the day with enthusiasm. Show up.

Be humble. Admit when you’re wrong.

Learn from your mistakes. Grow.  

Be brave. Be honest. Be real.

Celebrate success.

Expect excellence. Strive for nothing less. 

I realized pretty early on, that the magnitude of my challenges doesn’t mitigate the real, personal challenges that my friends, family, and employees are also going through. Everyone’s got something. Treat others with empathy. Treat them with kindness.

Do all things with love.

To all those across the planet who have reached out to me during this year, THANK YOU! Your kindness, light, and love have helped tremendously.

2019 feels like it’s off to a good start. I’m glad we’re on this journey together.

Till next time,


3 thoughts on “2018 – Reflections

  1. Nina – you are a Force of Nature, raised by two loving people and a family who taught you the skills to be a strong woman.
    Thank you for sharing your journey, and know there are so many people in so many places who are there for you at any time.
    Go get em girl!
    ❤️Julie & Phil


  2. Vickie Conn

    Beautifully written!
    I am imagining your view right now out those big windows! Wow!!!! The snow must look incredible with the herd dotted here and there ( but mostly huddled together to keep warm).
    Love you and think of you both often! Thank you for the beautiful sweet card! Isn’t it funny how much a card can mean? If people only knew.
    Prayers today for you to have a day full of thankfulness!! ❣️❣️❣️❣️


  3. Regena Blasdel Morris

    Love your thoughts you are sharing with us as you are starting a new adventure in your life. Your Dad and Mom have prepared Jake and you for this adventure. I look forward to all the adventures that you will share with us.


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