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2023 & Me

New Year, New Life

It’s officially the start of the new year and I’ve got a lot to say about how this year already looks AND feels different.

My 2022 started out as sad, somber, and sour with the passing of one of the world’s most incredible souls to ever exist on this little blue rock. My family & I lost our matriarch, our grandmother, and, frankly, our minds. For me, it was not just a hard loss of my best friend and supporter, it felt like the death of my childhood a little. Growing up felt like a whirlwind of adventures, spontaneity, and pure joy swirling about like a hurricane.

I never seemed to stop moving, laughing, eating, and playing. I was in the moment with every cartoon character I drew that was proudly displayed on my grandparents’ refrigerator. I was fixated on making grass balls while standing in the outfield of a supposedly important little league game. I rode the wind like a soaring eagle on my card-spoked bicycle that leaped off of a makeshift ramp into the air to land on the soft, smooth gravel below. Scraped knees, fresh pancakes, and endless reasons to sleep soundly at night felt like living in a dream.

My parents have worked hard to help us hold onto the bliss of being a kid over the years but this past year was especially tough. Our Nanie (as we called her) seemed to take all of the feelings of what made life so FULL with her when she left. Starting a new year just days after that was less of a “Happy Holiday Season” and more like a “Leave Me Alone or Get Throat Punched” type of vibe. We were all in pieces, looking ahead to an ominous fog of the unknown.

My nanie

This is Beverly June (Nanie) Raab. She is more than just a grandma and I need you to know that. She was a chef, a dancer, a tennis player, a beachgoer, a swimmer, a wife, a bridge club player, a traveler, a pet lover, a movie lover, a supporter, a number one fan, a fierce protector, the life of the party, a sister, a friend, a queen, a wife, a mother to 5, grandmother to 9, a great grandmother to 1, and so so much more.

She never asked for anything. Always a giver and consistently greeted you with the brightest smile and most contagious laugh. Her hugs were warm and her food was delicious. She loved being a grandma and was the best fit for the job. Nanie didn’t always agree with my choices but she ALWAYS supported them no matter what. She helped me during my healing process and so much more.

We were best friends and I am so grateful that no words were left unsaid. Relieved that she is no longer in pain. Wrecked at the loss of this legendary person in my life. And just happy that our relationship was such a huge part of both of our lives. You are missed so much already by all of us.

You are so loved Nanie, I can’t wait to see you again ❤️

If you’d like to read more about her, click here to hear from family & friends in the ‘condolences’ section.

Nanie’s Favorite Christmas Song: The Greatest Gift by Kenny Rodgers & Dolly Parton

This song always makes me think of the magic and warmth of the holidays at Nanie’s. The presents were perfectly wrapped, the food was incredible, the fun was endless, and time seemed to slow down for once. Always makes me emotional and lives on through happy & sad tears forever.

The worst thing about life is that it never pauses. Not for savoring a breathtaking moment or procrastinating someone’s last breath. The world keeps turning, experiences turn into memories, and people just have to figure out how to live in this “new normal” of their existence. Pausing life just isn’t an option. Although it has been – and still is – slow & clunky, we’ve been moving forward.

The rest of 2022 was filled with trips, tons of family time, and, above all, CHANGE. After now years of therapy and inner work on myself, I have adopted a few new perspectives that are propelling me forward “Into the unknooooooooooown” (Frozen 2, 2019) of 2023:

And my New Years’ Resolution & Intention…


Jake on his last day

so, I quit my day job

I’ve been talking about it for years that I want to move into coaching as my primary job and that’s exactly what this new year is bringing. I sat down with myself, my wife, and my cat to take a dream, put it on paper, and turned it into a goal.

The picture to the right is me on the day I put in my notice. It’s a cold, wintery morning. I have this metal flamingo as my White Elephant Gift for the very last staff gift exchange, a ‘birdy bell’ to toss over the balcony for Luna to watch the birds since our screen door is frozen shut, a giant smoothie, and a whole lot of courage to take action.

Moving on from my 9-5 marketing job will definitely come with challenges – but that’s what I’m so excited for. I am kicking the door open for opportunities to bring about RADICAL CHANGE in my life. My action of quitting my job took years of planning, hard conversations, and therapy to get to a place where I can make it happen. With that radical springboard, I am setting sail for a whole new life.

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney

moving forward – with pauses

This new year is giving me an opportunity to rise from the ashes of 2022 and plunge into creating my DREAM LIFE and not just pursuing a DREAM JOB. I’ve been planning, building, collaborating, and creating to give YOU – you magnificent soul – exactly what you deserve:

Someone on your team.

2023 is one day in and it’s already shaping up to be my most exciting year of creation & growth yet. I’m setting out to develop a library of resources to help you heal from all angles. I’m developing new ways to teach others about their own healing potential. I’m gathering peer-reviewed evidence that the world we live in is not just an extraordinary mathematical anomaly but it also has opportunities for us to thrive down to the molecule – and I can prove it.

Quitting my job, moving through grief, and expanding our family is a lot of change. Even though I can’t pause life, I can pause in the moment to really live in this new year with vigorous intent. I can reflect on the choices that brought me here. I can stop & love with more abundance than I ever have. I can be proud of myself for all that I have overcome. Working for myself is scary but I’m ok with that because I know I will be living the life I always wanted to live – “No Ragrets” (We’re the Miller’s, 2013).

Spending all day creating, connecting, and cultivating in the world around me is nothing short of exciting. I can work hard AND play hard. Go on an adventure, bathe in a new story, meet someone across the world, and make a lasting impact somewhere.

If you’re wondering if I wanted to start this year off strong with a blog entry like this because I just watched Julie & Julia, 2009 last night as it was one of my Nanie’s favorite movies to watch with my mom to marinate in the joy of sharing love through food and I resonate with Julie’s struggle to step into the life I know I can live so the best place to start would be here with my words on some blog nobody might read…

Then the answer is yes.

Here’s to taking another step through the fog, at least.

And in the words of the monumentally wonderful, Julia Child:

Bon Appétit,


*BONUS – Welcome, sunny!

On January 1, 2023, we expanded our family by four sets of beans and 100% organic cuteness. This is Sunny and he is already the world’s most playful & snuggly boy who doesn’t know how loved he is yet – his big sister Luna is still accepting his existence. JUST LOOK AT HIM THOUGH!