February 27th

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

You know when you spend time with people who lift you up, who give you a sense of belonging, how you just continue to radiate joy even after the time spent is done?

That’s me today.

After unpacking my bag this morning (I actually was able to do a checked bag!), I was taking time to page through the gifts Emily and Theresa sent me home with. Emily sent me home with the book American Cozy: Hygge-Inspired Ways to Create Comfort and Happiness. Theresa, on the other hand, brought the second book here to my attention while shopping on Monday. She walked it over to me and said “This book seems to emulate perfectly how you live your life.”

Curiosity obviously overtook me, and after reading the title, emotion filled my throat: Today, Tomorrow, & Everyday: Thoughts on Living A Brave and Real and Gorgeous Life.

As I paged through the book, phrases and statements like “She made room in every day for delight,” and “I saw myself like a stranger on the street. I saw what others loved in me – the substance and the spark that are mine alone. And I realized I owed it to myself to see these things often. So now I do.”

But my favorite was this line: “‘I see,’ she said, ‘that my life is a story of joy.'”

Theresa had given me the most heartfelt and touching compliment anyone ever could. The idea that these thoughts made someone think of me was truly amazing.

Emily’s gift was so similar to that – one aimed at cultivating comfort and happiness in my home. “It’s perfect for you, you’ll enjoy this,” she said to me.

I’m feeling incredibly loved and understood this morning, and that is such a treasure. I came home with so much more than with what I left.

November 16th

Friday, November 16th, 2018

We’re ready for tomorrow’s show, and so mini Minnesotas made their appearance this morning.

If you’re coming to the show, you’ll see them in action; they may just have something to do with the wood discs Paul cut for me yesterday.

Interested in coming out tomorrow? I’ll be at the St. Michael Albertville High School between 9am and 4pm! I’m in booth N 5, so stop by and say hi!

Also, I previously mentioned that my second show was on small business Saturday, but I misspoke! It is actually next Sunday, the 25th. So for you interested, take note.

September 28th

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Do you ever have those moments when you feel like God has hit you over the head with clarity?

I know that may sound strange, but let me explain. Today, when I was least expecting it, I looked around at all of the people around me, the laughter we were all sharing, the purpose for our gathering, and it was like *BAM* God put glasses on me, bringing it all into focus.

Like He was saying “Look at all the love, nourishment, community, purpose, and belonging I’ve provided you with. I’m all around you; look at these blessings!”

A best friend who has stuck it out with me for 20 years, her beaming love for her soon-to-be husband, the families on each side that embraced us as honorary members as we celebrated. The joy that was so so evident, even as we all stood in the 40 degree, rainy weather during the rehearsal. The unity of the bridal party – so much support, laughing and joking like we’d all been friends forever.

As we gathered for a meal, and my cheeks hurt from smiling.

Paul making jokes with Kya’s dad, Tim’s sisters laughing at the other end of the table. Tim’s best man quietly hoarding all the drink tickets as Kya distractedly kept handing them to him (thinking he was passing them down the line) as she was talking with the restaurant manager. Kya’s brother jokingly passing the veggie pizzas all down to Tim’s family as he kept the meat ones for us. Pizza for dinner, doughnuts for dessert. Just like the bride- and groom-to-be, a lovely combination from all angles.

A day we’ve all been waiting for, anticipating, for over a year is finally here! I’m going to do my best to hold it together…wish me luck!

August 21st

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Grandma and I were busy today – 27 bars of soap made!

And it was a perfect day to make soap too. Low dew point, lower temps. We were able to open the windows while we experimented this morning.

Grandma and I had talked about my soap making earlier this weekend, and as our conversation drifted to fall-like scents, we started talking about how good those would be as soaps. Pumpkin pie, apple cinnamon, coffee cake, etc.

So to Amazon I went and ordered supplies.

Today, with everyone gone at work, grandma came over to my house and we got to our own kind of work.

Pumpkin spice soap.

Apple cinnamon soap.

Oatmeal apple spice soap.

Lavender clay scrub soap.

Embedded lavender and rose petal soap.

Many different molds, many different textures, many different scents. It was a blast!

The fall scented soaps were especially successful, so I’ll be making more and selling them down with the pumpkins this fall! So if pumpkins weren’t enough of a draw for you to come visit the patch, the soap should be!

March 5th

Monday, March 5th, 2018

It finally came!

We’ve waited over a week for this picture to arrive, and it came with even more than we expected – but more on that later.

As you know, last Sunday Paul and I attended the TobyMac concert. We had an awesome time, as expected, and just like any other Christian concert we’ve been to, an organization is there advocating for kids who live mostly in third world countries. Kids that are looking for sponsors. Kids that truly know what it is to be hungry, to not have a future.

One child dies of starvation every three seconds.

One one thousand.

Two one thousand.

Three one thousand.

Hard to fathom, isn’t it?

Did you know that if you were condense the entire globe down to a room of 100 people and lined them up based on opportunity, the person at the front of the line would be the only person in the entire room who had a choice of education. Yes, only one. Let’s put it this way – if you’re reading this, YOU are the person at the front of the line.

How about some more perspective? Let’s talk about the people behind you in line.

The last 50 people in line are malnourished, and don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Those are the people we are losing every three seconds.

One one thousand.

Two one thousand.

Three one thousand.

And friends, as Matthew 25:40 says: “Then the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, what you have done for one of the least of these, you have done for me.’”

It’s hard to deny that, hard to reason with that.

This was the message last Sunday. I looked at the kids on the front of the packets they were handing out, and I couldn’t help but think about how fortunate I am. I’ve never known what it is to be truly hungry,  I have a college education, I have access to an infinite amount of doctors and health, I live in a house. I have six animals that are pets – not just livestock for food.

Paul and I did not sponsor a child that night. But when we woke up Monday morning, we did our research. How long as this organization been around? How much does this organization pay its CEO, how much of my donation actually goes to the child I’m sponsoring? Is the picture in my packet even a real child? Where does my money go? Can we write them letters? We called and talked with their care team, and they even said we can go visit our sponsored child.

So after we had all of our questions answered, we searched for kids in the Dominican Republic, and up popped Leidy.

Yes, friends, I know there is a lot to be done closer to home. I know kids nearby are hungry, lacking education, looking for help. But Paul and I felt called to help a child across the world who doesn’t have soup kitchens or a government with programs that aim to help. Many people are called to serve closer to home, but we felt the call from across the world.

So we pledged to sponsor Leidy online, and we were told a welcome packet would be mailed to us. So when we saw the mail carrier drive down the road today, we bundled up and walked the 1/2 mile to the mailbox regardless of the snow.

And there it was!!

We got our picture and our additional information. But inside was a letter (a letter!): “Hello friend, my name is Leidy…” A letter! She wrote on to say her favorite color, favorite sport, favorite subject in school, and more. She wants to be a doctor, you guys!

I read this first grade handwriting (in Spanish no less!), and couldn’t stop touching the paper. Tears filled my eyes. Her pencil indented the paper, and it was real.

We can’t wait to write back!

March 4th

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

You want to know one of the perks of following my blog?

You get to see new products before I advertise them! In today’s instance, A Borrowed Likeness puzzles! I purposefully disguised the overall image by having this image be in black and white (because there has to be some surprise when I officially launch them!), but believe me, they’re pretty awesome!

They aren’t huge puzzles, 11×14” in size with 252 pieces, but the images are challenging ones. I sat down to complete them to assess the difficulty, and I was surprised – 45 minutes for me to complete the edge pieces.

I was originally thinking of advertising them as youth puzzles, but now I’m thinking they’ll be great individual puzzles, great for adults, perfect for one person.

In addition to puzzles, look for throw pillows in the future as well!

I can’t wait!

October 28th

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

The snow stuck around overnight!

That just confirmed it for me – I’m not ready for snow and winter. It was fun to get a little snow just for something different, but I was disappointed when I woke up this morning and it was still there.

Oh well. All in good time.

So in that spirit, I did a little flat lay this afternoon to hang onto fall.  We grew those lovely little Daisy gourds in our patch this year, and these are our last two. They’re so festive and fun – they will be making a reappearance in the field next year for sure.

Paul and I have a beautiful little Burning Bush in front of our front porch that is always brilliant this time of year so the leaves came from that.

Trying to preserve as many of the little bits of the season via photographs as I can.