Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Whew!  What a whirlwind this year has been so far.  A delightful, sweet, awesome, blessed and over the top joyful year.  When I look back to January 17th when we learned our friend was making a shop space available and we were invited to take it over I had no idea what saying yes meant....but....it was definitely the right thing to do!

It is so great to work with my mom and daughter.  We all have different gifts that come together so well in the shop.  I would be a mess without their constant cleaning and organizing.  They would go nowhere without my big picture..."Hey!  Let's do this thing!" and the shop would have very limited success without Chelsea's display giftings.  She just has a knack!

I'm Thankful!!

Here are some photos from the shop.

On the day we took possession.
You can see uncertainty....I think.
But excitement.
The last photo in this series shows us very recently.


The shop as it looked for our Grand Opening.

Random shots from the time we've been open.

















 We are so super pleased for our friend, Annie, of LaneyBell Designs. 
Her business has exploded with large, large accounts.
You will begin to see her work in amazing places.
We are so thankful that she is not forgetting us in the process.


We have already had a turnover in our baby accessory artisans.
Only because of health issues.  Not due to any fault on either part.
But our former artisan was so kind and to suggest another and it was a super 
smooth transition.  We are thankful!!








Before the Strasburg Halloween Parade.
We are still standing and still smiling!


I think you see relief and a comfortability with where we are
today in this photo.
We now know that we CAN work together and that we enjoy it.
We have settled into our roles.
We have met AMAZING people...both artisans and customers.
We have found our space in the Strasburg business community 
and look forward to growing in that.
We have raised money for Breast Cancer Screenings in younger women
after learning of the need.
We have been pleased to offer a HUGE selection of Vintage Feed Sack fabrics.
Our feedsack ambassador.  Her Great Grandmother is our collector/consignor.


We have sold all but one of the Conk Mushroom Art pieces
that Allan was able to provide for us.




We have ALL grown, so much.
And we are THANKFUL!!
Stay tuned for a huge announcement...
if God wills it!

 Then to have the birth of our precious grandson on July 26th.  I've joined the sweetest and best club on the planet...the Grandma club.  Lately I've been holding him way more than taking photos but here are "a few" from me or stolen from Chelsea. 










Jonathan met Darcey this year.  They were set up by co-workers and are so sweet together.  It is so much fun to see him grow and have new experiences....such as driving 13 hours to her family's home for this Thanksgiving Day.  We will miss having them here but are excited for Darcey to spend time with the loved ones there.

Michael and Emily have made the smart decision to split up Holidays and alternate each year.  So this year they are spending Thanksgiving with her family and we will have them with us for Christmas.  They chose this year for those holidays because my brother and Bev also alternate and this falls in line with their schedule.  So, we will be a smaller gang tonight when we have our Thanksgiving dinner but Pastor Mike, Jenny and her mother will join us and it will be sweet.

My Mazda Minivan died recently.  It had a crazy amount of miles on it.  We found a Ford Escape of the same year, 2003, but with 100,000 less miles on the same engine.  I love it!  And it is red!!  Seems like lately we kept finding white vehicles between us and our moms.  So...I'm breaking the mold with my RED Escape.  Against my better judgement....here is a photo of me with it.



The candle business continues to thrive and keep me up late at night and awake early to make candles before heading to the shop.  It is something I'm mentally evaluating...as to the wisdom of working so hard all the time....but for now am committed to getting through this busy season.  It still brings joy and even today as I make 85 candles for Sweet Grace Ministries it has purpose.  Deep purpose.  I will not mind one little bit spending that time on something that helps even a little bit for people who will suffer loss in the months to come. 

I hope that you and yours will embrace the good and the bad you have experienced over this past year. We come to understand that everything works together to make us into the people we are.  If we are smart we lean hard into God when the bad things come and we reach out to Him in extreme gratitude when things are going well.   There is no other way to experience the full JOY of life and become all that HE has for us to be.  As most of you know we have been to the depths and we have stood on the highest mountain.  Both have been so important.....I happen to like the highs sooooo much better.  Won't lie.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

It's Been a While....


And this little man is growing. 
This photo was taken a week or two ago by his Mama.

We went away on a vacation with some of the kiddos.
This was at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.


 Some of the wildlife was kind of familiar.



On the way back from the zoo I got to play photographer.
We stopped at our favorite beach...Buckroe Beach.

Jonathan and Darcey....

Chadd and Chelsea

It was a very fun vacation filled with games, shopping, time with extended family,
a trip to urgent care for me because of a run in with a toxic
caterpillar the day we left and much Grandma time with Roy.

Recently we attended a gorgeous wedding held in a delightful country church.


The day couldn't have been more perfect.
The mini groomsmen....adorable!!


That moment with Dad...just before he gives her away....


And then they were married!

The bride is our own Emily's sister.
We have been friends with this family for many years
and were delighted to see her find her prince!


 Our friend, Susan, who did the flowers for Chelsea's wedding
also did Liza's flowers.
She is truly gifted.


Liza and Todd shared communion together
during the ceremony.
It was lovely.


The reception was very nice as well.
Great food and lots of good fun.
Emily gave a very sweet Matron of Honor speech 
about things Todd needed to know about Emily's best friend, Liza.

This is a very scant catch up post....
I have sooo many more photos.
However, we have just concluded weeks of a strong and successful
Best Kept Secrets Tour in the shop.
We have greeted and enjoyed hundreds of new customers.
While we loved every moment of it....
our bodies are weary.

Tonight we spent the evening with Chelsea, Chadd, Jonathan, Darcey, Mom and Georgia.
Again, the games were brought out and the competition continued.
I got to play with my favorite little guy while his parents
reclaimed the title of Dirty Marble winners.
This had been lost to Jonathan and Darcey while on vacation.

Hope all is well with you....
I will do my best to be back sooner.
But no promises.  
Life is hopping!

Friday, September 8, 2017

So Thankful





This little stinker gave us quite the scare by quickly losing a bunch of weight
and having a rather large lump on his head.
However, with the addition of formula, weight is going on.   And 
a brain scan says his bump will go away without any 
interference... we are quite relieved.
His brain is completely normal according to the test.

The worry was that he had a severe syndrome
that would manifest with those two symptoms.
That would have been unfortunate.
But Praise God.... that wasn't the problem.

We love being Grandparents.
I think it suits us.
I'm now bonding with every Grandma 
who comes to the shop.
:-)
It's a sweet club!