Chasing Our Dreams

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Chasing Our Dreams
Pictures 1, 2, 5, 6, & 8 by Kimberly Casey. Picture 3 by Meric Moments. Picture 4 by Willow & Rove. Picture 7 by Evergreen Film Co.

As a stay-at-home mom, I’ve often felt somewhat of a burden and guilty about not contributing as much financially to the family as I think I should, especially in today’s rising economic costs. I’ve questioned whether I shouldn’t have gone to college for something that was more practical and useful to help with the hopes we have for our family. To “help” I’ve started two side hustles, which I’ve thought about quitting at various times, and have a dream that occasionally fills my head with daydreams. 

Everyone has a side hustle these days right?

Something they hope will provide a little something extra and possibly become a full-time income. For some, it almost seems to happen overnight and part of you is a bit jealous of how easy it seemed for them. However, for others such as myself, it’s been a slower race due to life stages. I’m not going to lie though; I have thought about other possible hustles, but the uncertainty of them working out holds me back. My current two hustles have seen sporadic seasons of ups, mixed with a lot of downs. I had a job upon moving to Chattanooga so I thought I would just do some baking and photography on the side as a creative outlet. They were already a constant and passion in my life and I wanted to continue them in some way. Two years passed and we added our first child to the family. Things took a back seat as I learned to be a mom and got through the first year. I did some baking and photos, but didn’t work hard at it. As I was ready to get back into things and start growing them into businesses, Covid hit along with the pregnancy of our twins. Things most certainly took a back seat once more as we tried to survive the first year with three under three.

Getting back into building up my side hustles feels like I’m in the starting stages once more.

Looking back to see what worked and didn’t has me wondering if I should continue. Will it truly make a difference for my family? You join all the community groups for support but instead you start comparing yourself to others and second guessing your talent. The question, “But what if it doesn’t work?” lingers in the back of your mind with every new idea. You’re overwhelmed by having to constantly post something on social media to stay in front of people. You need to raise your prices but you’re afraid people definitely won’t book you then. You’re recommended on Facebook posts but so is everyone else and their mama who’s also doing the same as you. Second guessing and discouraging thoughts just keep piling up. You fight back telling yourself that everyone starts somewhere and there’s plenty of opportunity to go around, but there are days when those conversations of encouragement don’t help. I know that phase, I’ve been in it a few times with each season but this time around feels the longest.

I’m ready to move on from this phase.

I’m ready to start trying again and see where it will take me. My businesses probably won’t take off overnight and I may have to try a few things that won’t succeed, but I’m ready for it. I’m sure I’ll still have ups and downs; everyone does and I’ll continue to go through times of questioning everything, but I’ll try not to dwell there. Life is never certain but you have to continue forward, right?

My ultimate dream is to have a café type place that primarily serves desserts and is open for the dinner crowd too. A place where you could meet someone for a light lunch or midday coffee with cake. A place to go just for dessert after dinner or a night out with the girls and enjoy something that hits the spot just right. A space where I can put all the ideas that flow through my head into action. A home where I can experiment with flavors and bring a smile to someone’s face after they take that first bite of something amazing. There’s a sense of comfort and relaxation in gathering with family and friends around a table and I enjoy bringing people together over food. Will this dream ever come to fruition? Maybe, but maybe not, and right now I think I’m ok with that. In the meantime, I’ll continue thumbing through cookbooks for inspiration and stretching my creative muscles where I can. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported me through the years with my endeavors! Do you have any side hustles or dreams you’re living out or just waiting to explore?

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Hi, my name is Kimberly and I am a new stay at home mom. I am a nomad of sorts. Born in Arkansas to a military family of five children, I was speaking German by the age of 4. I have lived in Germany, England, and the United States and have traveled to countless other countries. In 2006 I moved to Providence, Rhode Island in order to attend Johnson & Wales University where I received a Bachelor's degree in Food Service Management, an Associate's in Culinary Arts, and an Associate's in Baking and Pastry Arts. So you could say that I'm a foodie.  After college I worked in Collegiate Ministry for many years and loved every second of it. I would do it again in a heartbeat if given the chance today. I met my husband, Wade, in 2011 through Collegiate Ministry but we didn't start dating until 2015. Our entire relationship was long distance and we saw each other a total of 10 times before our wedding. After our wedding in 2016, I moved to Chattanooga where my husband is an associate pastor and I can say that this move was one of the hardest things I had ever done. After two years of marriage we welcomed our daughter into the world this past October. She is a joy, loves to smile, and has turned our world upside down. If I'm not in the kitchen baking or cooking, you can find me outside enjoying nature. 

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