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Thursday, November 29, 2012

all i want for Christmas...

I've kind of been at a loss for words on here lately.  There's not a whole lot of excitement going on at the moment.  I'm tucked in my studio, pounding a hammer, taking cuff pictures, listing items on Etsy...filling orders.  My head is full of Pandora Christmas music.  I'm sick of it already and it's not even December yet...yikes.  It's a busy time...everyone's busy! 

(love how she's looking at me wedding shower)

My friend just posted something though and it got me thinking about my mom.  A long time ago I told Lissa part of my story.  We all have a story, mine has been really good...very blessed.  I grew up in an old farmhouse out in the country in Central Illinois.  It was a Christian home.  My mom in particular has always had a heart for the Lord and she shared that with me when I was little.  I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 6:)  Knowing Him made me want all my friends to know Him too, so I'd bring them home for sleep overs and playdates and my momma would share Jesus with them.  We were a little team;) 

She's always just been more or less a Jesus Freak!  She will sometimes look over at me and out of the blue tell me how much she loves the Lord.  I love the Lord too...but I don't talk about it near as boldly as she does or at all for that matter.  I tend to hide behind my computer screen. 
When we are out and about I can see her scanning the room...looking for people to talk to.  This last time my folks were in town I brought her to church with me.  She left for minute to go out into the lobby, and pretty soon I needed to use the restroom, and I found her in a corner praying with someone.  That's the norm. 
She used to work in a union hall and she had her testimony typed out and would share it whenever the opportunity arose.  And trust me she was always looking for an opportunity;)  It's just part of her personality to be a soul winner.  It's in her DNA or something. 
To be honest growing up that annoyed me sometimes.  I didn't quite understand how she could love the Lord that much...or be that bold and fearless with her faith.  Wasn't she worried she would step on someone's toes?  What if they thought she was crazy...or asked her questions she couldn't answer or or or...  There are always excuses...fears that keep us from sharing.  
I want to go back to that 6 year old me that was more concerned with my little friend's soul then if they thought I was crazy.  I want to think about someone other than myself.  This life is oh so fleeting.  All the trials that phase in and out are temporary.  To have a heart that is full and overflowing with have a mouth open and ready to share His be a Jesus Freak yep that's all I want for Christmas!  
**Read Lissa's post here.  She's doing it. 
She's spreading the good news...making a difference.  So proud of her!!!!
**And there is a coupon out for cuffs over here...20% off check it out. 
Shop closes December 15th until Feb.
Have a blessed day.

895.  keeping busy with cuffs
896.  honey's home:))
897.  my uber-generous friend tamara who helped me immensely this week
898.  being sore to the bone because of jillian michaels...good sore!!!
899.  a nap under the sweetest afghan today...thank you erin
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Monday, November 26, 2012

feast and famine

We are back home after a whirlwind Thanksgiving.  We had SO much fun with our stand-in NC family!  We ate like kings.  The kids played HARD!  The grown-ups got all our shopping done and lots of visiting in:)  Asheville was amazing.  It was good...really good!

I'm kind of exhausted to tell ya the truth.  Been traveling ALOT lately, so I'm condensing the pics into a couple of's a snippet of our weekend.  It's a mix of Thanksgiving yumminess, the Biltmore Mansion in all it's grandeur, and a hike to Triple Falls...where the Hunger Games was filmed!

Instagram pictures...farmgirlpaints

The trip was full of lots of things to be thankful for, but it also had a couple hiccup moments.  We got a speeding ticket on the way to the Hutchinson's house.  SO not cool.  It was a speed trap.  The cop was sitting at the bottom of a steep hill and our cruise was on and...well you know how that isn't the most accurate at keeping your speed on a hill.  We got nailed:( 

Then when we got home there was another unfortunate surprise.  The shipment with my cuff supplies came in the mail and the package was completely EMPTY!!  This has happened before:/  Apparently we have a thief at our post office!!  Anyway it was not a happy moment for me and I have to admit it completely stole my joy...for more than a day.  Grrrrrrrrr.  It didn't get resolved.  I had to repay to get the order resent, and for my small business that stung...aLOT!

So this morning when I flipped open my Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young and these words popped out at me, it was apparent the Lord was trying to get my attention.  My Thanksgiving to Him is a sacrifice.  Praising Him and keeping focused on the good things...the blessings in my life are an offering.  I'd never really thought of it that way before. 

Our hearts have to be protected because this world is full of disappointments.  Every day will have it's unforeseen challenges and we have to make a concentrated effort to not let those things distract us from all the good we have.  Because WE ARE BLESSED!!!!  So so sooooo blessed!  I needed that reminder.

Be a blessing.

In case you missed it...Alicia's cute shop is only open until December 15th.  She's offering 20% off if you use FARMGIRL20 in the coupon code.  Bop over there.  Super cute stuff!!!

890.  this gorgeous shawl sent to me by my talented IG friend...
891.  reminders to slow down
892.  turkey, gravy, sweet potato souffle and and and... feasting!!!
893.  the Hutchinson's
894.  Christmas music that makes me hum under my breath
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Friday, November 23, 2012

merry black friday...

Hello sweet friends.  I hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving!  I'm still with Alicia and her sweet family, and right this second we are Black Friday shopping:))  Last year we did it too and got every.single.thing on our list!  It was incredible.  Keeping my fingers crossed it's that simple this year. 

Since we are talking shopping I wanted to show you Alicia's cute Etsy store.  She's been busy making some really fun Christmas items.  I have several things from her shop in my home...pillows, banners, chalkboards!!  Love everything she makes.  She's got a really sweet style.  Anyway she's offering a 20% discount to my readers!!!  Just use FARMGIRL20 as the coupon code.  It's good through Dec 15th.  Don't wait:)
Have a beautiful weekend friends.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

sweet spot


Every October a shift occurs.  My store starts getting really busy.  Which I'm grateful for, BUT I start wigging out and go into hyperactive overdrive.  Every spare minute is spent pounding a hammer and filling orders.  Usually travel is thrown into the mix, and for some that busyness would make them feel alive...make them thrive. 

For me it makes my shoulders rise to my ears.  My head buzzes all day long.  I feel like I can't take a deep breath.  I have to-do lists replaying in my mind like an old record skipping over and over and over again.  But this is life and every year it repeats.  Every year the stress cycle continues.

As I think about my favorite holiday approaching I want more than anything to truly get it.  To truly embrace what I've been given.  These people in my life are huge, amazing gifts.  I want to see my children...not look through them.  I want to listen when they speak to me.  I want to hear what lies beneath their words.

I want to appreciate the details, and that only happens when you are fully engaged...truly paying attention.

These girls are watching me.  They want to be just like me.  It's a big responsibility to be a role model.  What am I modeling??
My Thanksgiving wish is to find the balance between the chores of this world that have to be done, and the things of this life that must be appreciated.  Oh the constant strive for that sweet spot
***Hope all of you have a wonderful holiday.  We are heading to Asheville for a very special Thanksgiving with dear friends.  Follow along with me on Instagram...farmgirlpaints.

Be a blessing.

884.  sweet friends within driving distance
885.  nature walk with my chicks
886.  fall in all it's glory
887.  nudges that remind me to pay attention
888.  everything...thankful for every.little.thing!
889.  YOU!

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Friday, November 16, 2012

swept away...whatever craft weekend THE BARN!

Kansas...oh how I've never really liked you before.  Hours and hours I've spent driving through your desolate parts, but this time you charmed me.  THIS time...I fell in love with your wide open fields.  Your windmills standing tall and shiny in the afternoon chill.

Okay so enough with the ode' to Kansas I guess.  It did really win me over though.  I've driven through many times heading to my sister-in-law's house in Colorado over the years.  It's barren along the interstate.  You could run out of gas between stations.  I've often wondered what in the world people do to live.  Why would they choose to be there?  Of course this is my perspective from a passenger side window and hours of nothing but tumbleweeds to look at. 

Obviously there's so much more.  Like views of this.

And with a little Lightroom magic there are barns that look ALIVE!!  And trees that make me want to cry they are so beautiful.

We were driving along and happened across this old abandoned farmhouse.  Megan was squealing...stop the car!!!...and before the van had even stopped rolling my soul sister friend was jumping out...snapping pictures like a crazy person.  And I know for a fact she's crazy because if there wasn't an entire van load of crafters waiting I would have jumped out too!  I know crazy

If left alone we would have stomped through broken glass, trudged up rotten stairs, pulling cobwebs out of our hair as we explored.  We have that similar adventurous spirit.  She's got wanderlust and I do too.  Now if we only had unlimited resources and all the time in the OUT!

She's gonna growl at me for posting this, but how awesome is this picture??  It looks like she's running backwards!!!  Oh my sweet wanderlusty friend;)

This was the day I was looking forward to the most.  I love creating, but a lot of that goes along with hunting for treasures.  Finding the perfect thing to decorate with.  It makes my mind go bananas.  So when we drove up to these buildings and all the stuff was laying out in the field...I seriously had heart palpitations.  

Before I could even get out of the car Megan had vanished.  I was yelling into the crazy wind...MEGGGGAAANNN!  She was gone....poof!  Like vapor;)  So off I went exploring.

There was almost too much rusty goodness to take in.  It was old things overload. 

See that door or whatever it is hanging by a thread off the building??  Well it was banging in the wind over and over again against the metal building.  Kansas didn't let us down.  It was exactly as you imagine.  I was just waiting for a twister to pop down from the sky and carry us away.  Wish my blog had sound effects;)  It was the Wizard of OZ in rusty technicolor.  Fabulous!

Finally we found each other.  We ran up and with bated breath in unison we were like "where were you??"... it was straight out of a sitcom or something. 

And when I say found each other I really mean FOUND EACH OTHER.  Before this weekend we had never even spoken on the phone.  I'd read her blog, but I didn't really know her.  It was a little risky running off to room with a stranger.  I'd done it before (remember this?) though, and I knew the payoff could be big.   
I'm so glad I jumped in with that adventurous spirit of mine.  What a blessing I would have missed out on if I hadn't.  Megan was incredible.  I didn't once feel nervous with her.  She's fun, down to earth...real!  She's the check in with you a couple of times a day friend.  That remembers to pray for you friend.  That has your back.  I know this about her and we only had a few days.  Magical days...

My MN Amy;)

So that was the barn experience.  Mind blowing! 

(Megan and Jill)

Then we headed to Sonic.  It's a tradition on Whatever Craft Weekends.  We were starving.  Or maybe I should say I WAS STARVING!  I'm always starving.  You need to know that about me;)  Anyway we ordered tons of junk food...mozzarella sticks, tator tots, popcorn chicken and my new coke with vanilla...YUM!  Thanks Kimberlee for that tip:)  Operation Zip Those Pants was takin' a back seat.  Yikes! 

Once we got home we spread out all our goodies on the table and took in everyone's treasures.  How fun is that?  This is what I got at a little antique store in Marion called Bearly Makin' It.  Just thinking about that store with it's stacks and stacks of quilts and bedding about makes a tear pop out!  WHY can't we have reasonable antiquing in VA?  Why God Why??  Shoot I'd settle for expensive antiquing with stuff as good as this!  It was crazy good.  I found so many good things. 

I got this quilt for $30!!!!!  I know.  Stop hatin'.  It's a little messed up, but I'm going to make pillows and a slipcover for my ottoman out of it.  It's gonna make my ugly brown basement couch look so pretty:)  Oh and that owl HAD to come home with me.  I've been looking for one that sweet for years.  It was meant to be.

So now I'm wrapping it up.  It's almost time to officially end my most surreal weekend experience ever!  Oh and these girls made it even more surreal.  They knew me!  EEEEK!!  They either read my blog or followed me on Instagram (farmgirlpaints) before I got there.  Love that!!  They were so sweet and didn't stare at all... like I'm sure I did with Meg;) 

Here's all of us...the November 2012 Whatever Craft Weekenders.  Feeling all sassy in our aprons that we MADE!  And truly feeling blessed for an amazing, amazing weekend away.  Swept away... 

**If you haven't...go sign up:)  It's based on a lottery random draw. 
Everyone has the same shot at getting to go. SO FUN! 

Have a blessed day.

879.  windmills

880. cows

 881.  i made stuff

882.  i'm on the map!

883.  peanut butter i wish i had one right now!!

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