Running into the New Year

My musings…

Happy New Year! Does anyone else feel like NYE was a month ago? I feel like I have experienced weeks already in 2022 with how insanely busy these first few days have been. We have the kiddos with us this week, we’re both back to normal work schedules, and we’re sprinting to get everything into tip top shape for our very first wedding ceremony hosted in our venue this weekend!  

As I sit down to write the January newsletter, amid a season of both reflection and projection, I can’t help but draw parallels between running our venue and just simple running (as in a form of exercise).

A few weeks ago, I went for my first run in approximately six months. It was two miles. And it was a big deal for me because I had all these mental blocks leading up to putting on my running shoes, driving to the park, and hitting the pavement.

Photo Credit: Gardens of Weber Manor.

I used to be more consistent about running pre-pandemic. In fact, I have run four marathons over the past six years. I wouldn’t consider myself a runner, but it makes me feel good and I have enjoyed the mental, emotional, and physical challenges and triumphs that come with training for and completing a variety of races.

With all the transitions and busyness that I have talked about in previous newsletters, my running in 2021 fell by the wayside. So, when I finally decided to get back out there, I found myself coming up with excuses time after time and pushing the running schedule back further and further.

What it came down to was nerves. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to finish two miles (when not too long ago I could easily run ten miles). Nervous I would be embarrassingly slow (but like, who’s counting?). Nervous I would get hurt since by this point, I was out of shape.

Then one day I just decided to do it. The mood struck me, the timing was right, and I both easily and slowly finished a two-mile jog. It felt amazing afterward; I liberated myself from my own mental blocks about my limitations.  

I draw on these various experiences with running as an analogy for our business, and it keeps me centered, especially during the tough moments.

Building the venue itself and working our way toward launching in late spring of 2022 is a marathon of a process. It takes time for us to come up with the resources to fund our projects, find and coordinate contractors and materials, nail down the vision for each space and bring it to life, find potential clients who may want to book our site, and on and on. It also takes time for the plants in our garden to grow, furniture to arrive, and each component of each project to be finished.

There are moments of frustrations and impatience. Why is this project taking weeks to finish? What do you mean the materials won’t come in for another month? Why is this material so expensive? Why won’t our website update properly? Etc.

But this journey is just like running. When training for a long-distance race, there can be many frustrations. Illnesses that took me down for days or injuries that took me out for weeks. Everyday demands can easily derail a training schedule (running 15 miles would take more than three hours out of my day!).

When training for a marathon, it’s simple to focus on how much I still have left to go. During the thick of running a long distance, it’s easy to be consumed by how many miles I still have left before finishing. When beginning to prepare for a long-distance race, I have easily concentrated on all the miles ahead I would have to run in order to prepare for that coveted 26.2 miles.

I remember crossing the finish line of my first half-marathon in 2014 and thinking to myself, “Okay, cool, but it wasn’t a full marathon.” I look back that moment and chide myself for being callous and ungrateful (especially to my very sore and tired legs that had taken me over 13 miles!).

Similarly, with our business, worrying about how many additions we still want to put into the venue, comparing our offerings to other venues’ (not always a good idea), and constantly paying attention to the imperfections is like measuring how many miles lay ahead of me in a long race. It can be helpful; we must stay forward moving. However, burnout will creep in and passion will fade if we fail to recognize and celebrate the milestones we have already achieved.

Taking time over the holidays to let it sink in just how much we have accomplished in the past twelve months has me feeling like I just finished a marathon. Pride. Excitement. A little exhaustion. And the training I have done for a multitude of races over the years has helped me move through each fear and challenge, step by step, that have arisen throughout the journey of launching our new business.

One final note. The four marathons I’ve run have all been the NYC marathon. If you haven’t witnessed or participated in a NYC marathon, it’s an event to behold. More than one million spectators show up to watch the marathon every year. And the cheering crowds – both friends and complete strangers alike – have provided me motivation to finish each of those long runs. Similarly, the support we’ve received from friends, family, and new acquaintances throughout 2021 as we embarked on this venture has carried us through the exciting and tough times. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

Updates for TheGoWM…

Closing one chapter and starting anew in 2022!

Last month we:

  • Booked our second wedding at the GoWM!

  • Finished the electrical work and sprinkler system.

  • Put down concrete in three different areas.

  • Enjoyed watching our plants grow. It’s surprising how big some of our plants have gotten over the past 8 months.

  • Started to add some decorations to the garden space (besides plants!).

  • Enjoyed the holidays with our loved ones.

This month, we plan to:

  • Host our very first wedding ceremony in the space!! (Thank you R & E for trusting us!)

  • Seal the pathways to preserve the color of the pavers and make them nonslip.

  • Fill in the hedging left by the concrete work.

  • Level the ground and put down sod in the back corner of our venue between our turf and terrace (it has been looking pretty swampy lately).

  • Complete the renovations and furnish the studio side of the suite.

  • Continue landscaping in all areas of the venue.

Our Asks…

This wouldn’t be a community space without the help from, well, our community! If you can assist us with any of the following, we’d greatly appreciate it.

  • Please subscribe to this monthly newsletter if you haven’t and share if you like what you read!

  • Please follow us on our social media pages: Instagram (@thegardenswm) and Facebook.

  • Please engage (share, like, comment, save) with our posts on social media!

  • Help us brainstorm events we can host in our space outside of private parties (e.g. wellness events, art galleries, concerts, gaming events, etc.).

  • Book a tour if you’re in the area and would like to see our space! Thanks for tuning in this month!

 -Emily, Co-Founder, The Gardens of Weber Manor

Blog News: We love to connect with our clients and friends, and we publish a special newsletter every 1st Thursday of the month. We also provide a lot of wedding tips from our preferred vendors.

“You will find that most times you have a vision of what it is that you want to accomplish and that’s most important. It allows you to work backwards and make cuts and changes that will still reflect the overall outcome you wish to achieve. What good is splurging on one particular item if it doesn’t result in the overall outcome you were trying to create?

-Emily, Co-Founder, The Gardens of Weber Manor

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When I say that pictures and videos do not do this space justice, that is an understatement!! The Gardens of Weber Manor, in all of its whimsy and magic, is truly a perfect little nook in the heart of the Redlands. No matter what the vision or mood board, this venue and its versatility will allow you to transform it to match your wildest dreams. Add to that the fact that Mike & Emily are the absolute sweetest owners & venue managers, and there should be NOTHING holding you back from booking a tour and picking your wedding date that same day. It is clear that they have put their heart and souls into building up The Gardens from the ground up. So whether you’re planning a wedding, anniversary, birthday or corporate event, you need not look further. 

– Alianne Valladares-Prieto

The Gardens of Weber Manor is a hidden gem. This venue is magical. I can’t express how amazing it was working with Emily and Mike. They answered every question I had and made me feel that they had everything under control at all times. The staff was awesome!!! The rooms looked beautiful!!! I want to give a special thanks to Emily it was an absolute pleasure working with you. Everything went smoothly, easily and successfully thanks to Emily and Mike and the rest of the team. We felt like family from the time we started to plan the wedding and especially on our wedding day. Thanks to the Gardens of Weber Manor for the wedding of our dreams!

– Fernanda Rodriguez

We cannot say enough good things about this venue and the owners, Emily & Mike! It is truly a hidden gem. The garden is absolutely gorgeous – you really don’t even need to decorate because the scenery has so much beauty all itself. There are so many spots throughout the venue that could be used for different parts of an event, and no matter where you turned it was a perfect photo backdrop. Our friends and family kept telling us how beautiful the venue was and wondering how we found it.

– Kyla Hill