Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SOULcation part 1...The Holden's

Hey friends!!  For those of you who still read blogs hiya!  I cannot even believe that the last post I wrote was for my trip out to Seattle:0  You probably think all I do is travel;)  Not true!  But I kinda wish it was:)  I've decided a trip once a month for 4 days would be perfect.  It's just long enough to break out of the humdrum and then long enough to miss home and want to go back to routine.  

So a few months ago I was trying to think up a Spring Break plan for the family.  Last year was extravagant.  We went to Kauai in the Summer.  Ahhh good times!  As much fun and adventure that trip was I was craving something entirely different this year.  We tossed around several ideas before landing on our SOULcation plan.  The plan was to hit the Round Top flea in Texas, stay in Austin, stalk Waco/Joanna Gaines one day and along the way meet the Holden's in Mississippi and the Lowry's in Georgia on the way home.  

It evolved from that original plan a bit...including more people:)  Imagine me tiptoeing into my Honey's office and plopping this cray plan in his lap.  The man who doesn't like to roadtrip and isn't entirely keen on sharing his time with strangers on vacation.  "Honey let's DRIVE to Texas and pitstop in strangers homes." :))))  But he went with it and I'm so grateful!

When I sat down to write about our SOULcation it was going to be one big long post, but I quickly figured out that's just plain silly.  There is no way I can possibly put it all into one, so I hope you come back to read the rest.  

They are the Holden's.  Nick and Stephanie Holden to be exact.  Her grandbabies call her Honey soooo everyone else does too.  And yes I said grandbabies!  The girl is only two years older than me and has four!  Yes four!! 

If you don't know the Holden's you should.  I "met" them through Instagram a few years back.  One day I got the sweetest letter from Honey. She told me Nick followed me on IG and said she just had to know me and that I really reminded him of her.  We took a lot of the same selfies and feet pics.  Our personalities were similar etc... And from that point on a little friendship seed was planted.  We met a few times briefly...a drive through quickie dinner and she was our group leader at Hope Spoken last year.  

But this little pitstop in rural Mississippi really sealed the deal.  They're in our hearts now.  And once that happens you stay there;)  Their sweet home was opened up.  They fed us and invited their daughter Lydia and her husband Marcus over for supper.  We slept under their roof and went four wheeling.  They are kind and wise and generous and most importantly they love Jesus.  

I think going home to my mom's house is the only place I've ever felt quite this at home.  It's strange really.  At dinner on our second pit stop...yes we stopped there TWICE...we talked about dating and raising girls.  If a boy wanted to date their daughter once she turned 16 he had to bring a 1,000 piece puzzle to the house.  After the puzzle was complete then he could ask to "court" her.  What a way to weed out the casual!  I BIG PUFFY HEART LOVE this idea.

We talked about the empty nest a bit and how after the girls left Nick softened.  He was able to give the girls over to their new protectors! So nice to know;)

They are at that season in life they can encourage us as we head into the future with the girls.  It's a sweet thing...mentoring others.  Something I hope I can do someday as well.

They high kick goodbyes...which pretty much summed up how I felt when we left.  High on love and life.  Meeting new friends does fill you up.  Being able to share your life with others is such a gift.  Don't be afraid of opening your heart up to new places and people...that's where the soulcation begins!  

And before I forget to mention it the shop is OPEN for designer cuffs this week:))  We've got some pretty cute designs available for Mother's day and Graduation. We close up on Friday and then reopen May18th-22nd for the regular cuffs.  It's coming up!!  

Be a blessing.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

blissin' out in the PNW:)


There's something about getting away that can do a correction in you.  I think a separation from the norm, from the familiar, is like a wiping off of a foggy steamed up mirror.  You come home and everything is crystal clear.  Your heart and soul become aligned.  This happens for me.  I get home and my patience is back.  My tone is less growly.  I happily do things that normally I would grumble about.  I see my people and take them a little less for granted.  It's just what a get-away should do.  It refreshes and reprioritizes things for you.

I just got back from a week out in the Pacific Northwest.  Man oh man how I love escaping to that side of the country.  Mossy green lushness all around.  Snow capped mountains in the distance.  Trees that tower and air that smells fresh.  And always an early Spring with blooms pushing through.  Add glorious sunshine, which always happens for me when I'm there, and it's like salve to a winter "burn".

When I go out there I share my time between two friends...both whom I've known for years through blogging.  It never fails to amaze me how well I can know two people who I met through the Internet and only get to see maybe once a year.  God can span distances.  He can forge friendships and align hearts.  Our ties don't depend on face to face time...we share a love for the Lord and that makes us sisters:)

Can you hear it?  The pound of water from the falls...  Lissa took me to Snoqualmie Falls and to the Salish Lodge for breakfast.  That farm style breakfast might possibly have been the best I've ever had.  The biscuit was divine.  I was trying so hard not to oooh and ahhh too much.  My friend who can't have gluten had to sit and watch me eat it:/  But let the record state it was THE BEST!

Can you smell it?  A forest so different from ours here I have to push down the excitement to not squeal when I see the moss and ancient towering trees.  It's absolutely magical! After breakfast we took a hike down to the falls.  Stopping every few steps to snap pictures.  THIS was my favorite moment with Lissa.  Nature makes me feels so close to His presence, and this was nature to the max.  I loved this day.

With Sasha and her family we took a ferry over to Port Gamble.  Can I just pause for a minute to tell you how much I love riding a FERRY!  It's seriously so much fun, but I can't imagine doing that as a way of life.  Paying that much attention to a schedule would take some major getting used to. 

We visited this quaint little town of Port Gamble, which used to be a saw mill town...so full of history, and again snapped pictures of everything in sight.  Do these girls know me or what:) It was so much fun!!  And while I was paying for a little souvenir in the General Store the clerk recognized me!  She asked me about my cuff and when I told her I made them she was like "Oh my gosh...YOU'RE Farmgirl Paints!".  Seriously it about made my head pop off!! Getting "recognized" in a tiny little town on the other side of the country made my day:))  I think moments like that are little hugs from heaven.  It's not lost on me that my heavenly Daddy would take the time to bless me like that.  He knew that would tickle me pink.  He planned for that precise moment to happen...to make me feel special;)  Oh love how He loves us so.

There were so many more memories made.  I was loved on.  Fed well. Taken to all my favorite places and had so many laughs along the way.  God is good to this "farmgirl" from Virginia.

Be a blessing,


My flight days there and back were so stressful.  Richmond rarely gets "weather", but it fell on both my travel days:/ God worked it out.  I got there and I got home.  Hallelujah!  So grateful for these sweeties who made me feel missed!!  Texting with your 11 year old bonds you!

Spring blooms in February!  For a friend that drove 6 hours so I could see Oregon with my own eyes:))

Lissa's port! Sigh...

Whatcom Falls Park...  Oh Bellingham you are so beyond cool!  This is just right there in the middle of town.  Do you see me?

An Outlander series marathon.  Loved these cozy nights with my girl Sasha.  Add some Trader Joe's fireworks chocolate bars to the mix and it truly was a party;)

The daffodils were in bloom!  CAN you EVEN!!!!!

Painting pottery!  Hours of quiet creative time equals bliss!!!
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

the brownie post

It's been ages since I've really sat down and shared my heart on here.  With the shop and Instagram...life just feels really full and really busy.  I know some of you out there in "virtual land" still read blogs and don't have Instagram, so you probably feel like I've fallen off the face of the planet, but trust me I'm still here. There's been so much going on.  Things that in past years would have easily been a blog post on their own.  Like my Big Chick turning 15 and all the emotion and memories that came with that. My paint something every week challenge.  Our new found family passion of playing the guitar.  Hot yoga and trying to lose 15 stubborn pounds, and not caring as much anymore and wanting to go through menopause so I don't have women's issues anymore. Uggghhhh see... these could all be blog posts.  But today I'm going to talk to myself a bit.  I'm entitling this the brownie post because well...you'll see.

For Valentine's day my honey bought me tulips and made dinner reservations.  We went to a red and white checkered tablecloth kinda restaurant and had a very sweet meal with dessert.  Then we went to a movie and it all went downhill from there.  Let me preface by saying that we love movies.  LOVE them!!  It's our favorite thing to do as a family.  Our favorite date night.  It's fun to walk in and let the buttered popcorn smell overtake you:)  There's something exciting about the dark ambiance of a show.  We love being entertained.  But lately the movies we've seen have been WAYYYY off mark.  It now requires a full on research project before you can go see a film anymore.  We've been disappointed on more than one occasion and it usually starts before the blasted movie even begins.  This last one we saw had countless horror film previews that bombarded us with images and sounds that no amount of eye closing and ear plugging could eliminate.  Regardless of whether you like scary movies or not, those kind of trailers feel like an assault.

Last weekend we went to see The Kingsmen.  It was an action film.  We like those.  But we should have researched it.  Like we really should have researched it.  There is 10-15 minute scene where a spy gets a signal from his cell phone, from a bad guy, and grotesquely murders everyone in a church.  I don't have a clue how many people died in that movie, but they made it kind of funny...and that's what was most disturbing.  I actually heard some people laughing.  We finally walked out.  I'm ashamed we stayed as long as we did.

Then in the bathroom all I could hear was countless women full of excited chatter over the Fifty Shades of Grey movie.  Don't even get me started on how messed up that is.  SERIOUSLY what is wrong with everyone.  When is it okay to hurt the ones you "love"?  Since when is sexual perversion something to be applauded? What kind of messed up confusing world are we exposing our young people to?  Is this what our future generations are going to consider normal and healthy? And regardless of whether you go to the film or not the commercials have to be explained.  It's not something I like to have to spell out to my 11 year old.  I could go on...but I won't.

Years ago I heard a story from Joyce Meyer.  She was explaining a life lesson to her kids, she said what if I made you the richest, most moist brownie ever.  It was absolute perfection.  So good you could smell it across the room!  Would you eat it?  Now what if I put in the teeniest amount of dog poop?  Not much, just a teeny bit.  Would you still try it knowing the brownie had dog poop in it? Well of course not!!  I've never forgotten that illustration.  I filter out a lot of crap from the world, but I've let some dog poop creep in.  I need to listen to that still small voice...that ick in my stomach when I know something is sinful and wrong and turn from it.  Even if it is just a song, a movie, a magazine article etc...  We are called to be different.  To be set apart.  I'm making a decision to put down that tempting corrupt brownie.  A little is still too much...

Be a blessing.

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