I laugh as I sit here and think about the line in the movie Four Christmases, “this child is a blessing to the both of us!” We welcomed our grandson into the world two weeks ago and have been overflowing with joy. He has been such a blessing to all of us, in countless ways and we can’t seem to get enough of him! River is a sweet baby full of snuggles and love; adjusting to life and his family perfectly. This grandparent thing is going to be a blast. Ethan and I have vowed to give him an adventurous life full of exploring and discovery. It’s exciting to think about all of the fun we have ahead of us.
‘….God is able to bless you abundantly So that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound…’ 2Corinthians 9:8
Made this for a young, newly married couple; So excited to make something so special for them, a daily reminder of their commitment to one another and the love they share. Custom orders always make me nervous and give me some level of anxiety because it’s so important to me that whatever it may be is special. Looking forward to making many more custom creations and one of a kind gifts for all of the milestones life may bring!
Christmas is one of the most beautiful times of the year, especially when you have the people you love around you. We’ve accumulated a lot of decorations through the years and at this point we just put out our favorite things. Living in a small farmhouse we don’t have a grand livingroom for a huge tree, instead we chose a small rustic tree that fits perfectly. I use left over ribbon and ornaments to decorate gifts and containers to make things pretty. Brown craft paper is really inexpensive and can be decorated a million different ways; this year I found the plaid paper I so desperately wanted for only .75 cents a roll!!! Whooo hoooo! For gift tags I looked through my scrapbooking stuff and found a punch to make them handmade out of cardstock and just wrote the kids names on them. The anticipation of seeing gifts under the tree for weeks makes things a little more exciting, also, hearing the kids guessing what they got gives me ideas. All in all it’s about filling the house with the spirit of Christmas and surrounding yourself with cheerful, uplifiting things that ultimately bring back that Christmas warmth in your heart every year.
When I was a kid in school I sought out every art class there was, at one point in high school being told that I had taken as many as they would allow. From extracurricular art classes and books from drawing to charcoals, I fell in love with drawing and painting; creating everything from my own private sketch books to wall murals, and logos for friends and family. As an adult I continue to paint and draw, finding it almost theraputic. I’m happy to sit at a table, or often times in my own comfy bed, painting a project while I watch a movie and drink my coffee. Many times people tell me that I should do this as a job; that would take the fun out of it, so I thought.
My daughter and I went to one of the local festivals and I found myself wanting to take home every wooden sign I came across! I wanted to buy them all! She finally looked at me and said, “stop trying to buy things that you can make at home”…. She was was right, so I went home and made some signs of my own.
Just a month or two ago I came up with this hairbrain idea to start making a few signs and selling them to whoever would buy them; my goal being a sign or two a month or something. In the midst of this hobby of mine I was presented with an opportunity to set up shop inside of a local yet historic shopping distric in St. Charles. It’s just a small corner inside a local store but it was enough to create instant anxiety and stressful over thinking!! With a loving push and overwhelming support and encouragement from Ethan I accepted the challenge of creating a small business making wooden signs and such. Now I just needed a name! Regularly I come home to find scraps of wood and old windows on our front porch, things that Ethan has gathered and brought home for me to use for different projects; I am so blessed…. And THAT is how Front Porch Blessings was created!
Entertaining has always been high on my list of things I love to do….This past weekend I had the opportunity to host a baby shower for my daughter and my future grand baby! I began gathering things months in advance, knowing that I would focus on a rustic theme, I made a point to use things I either had around the house or things that I was sure I would be using in the future. I started with Pinterest and created a secret folder to keep ideas in as I collected them; In no time at all I had a theme. Being October it was easy to incorporate pumpkins, which can be all sizes and made of almost anything these days. From there I concentrated on incorporating a ‘color’ into the theme; I didn’t want traditional baby blue so I chose very rustic, fall colors like brown, gold, and other colors you might find in nature. By using baskets and tins along with other odds and ends around the house I was able to host a fairly affordable, yet very beautiful party. Again remembering to surround yourself with things you love, and you’ll never be disappointed. 😉
Every fall about this time I take the kids somewhere outside and take their pictures; I’ve done this for almost fifteen years. It all started because I wasn’t thrilled with school photos and I had this great tree in the yard that I was sure would be a better backdrop than that ugly blue screen in the school cafeteria! It was perfect and soon turned into a little tradition I love and treasure. As the kids got older my daughter fell in love with photography and she too looked forward to participating in these mini photo sessions. Now almost twenty years old she has easily become my personal photographer; she loves our photo adventures and does a great job.
Saturday was a perfect day to be outside so we got everyone together and went to a favorite spot on the farm for pictures. One of the most important pictures I wanted was of Ethan and I in the back of the pickup watching the sunset; I cannot tell you how many times we spontaneously jump in the truck, drive up the road to the top of the hill to sky watch. We see some of the most beautiful sunsets and amazing storms roll in. Having this picture is a special way to forever remember these moments. The older I get the more I’ve come to realize how important it is to “stop and smell the roses”, or stop and watch the sunset or even taking a few minutes to star gaze. So….. What are you doing to make sure you get away from social media, television, and everyday technology that consumes us?
I’ve learned the importance of taking time for yourself. Sunday has easily turned into my favorite day of the week! On a typical Sunday morning with the kids I make a big breakfast, bigger the better. (Nothing makes one relax more than a full belly) My son likes to have his breakfast on the porch with me, drinking coffee, especially on a crisp morning with a little fog still in the fields and the cows grazing is a fantastic start to the day; the sounds and smells of the morning air in the country are priceless.
The afternoons consist of doing whatever it is we want or enjoy doing that we don’t always have time for during the week. Followed by more food of course. Obviously eating well is important business around here! Grilling would probably be at the top of the list. Beer can chicken, fresh veggies from the garden, stuffed jalapeño peppers, fried zucchini, cucumber/tomato salad, and grilled corn just to name a few….topped off with homemade funnel cakes at the picnic table.
Late afternoon short naps are also a favorite Sunday affair. Fresh air and a peaceful room to put your feet up bring instant relaxation. These are the things that can take a regular day from ‘just another day’, to a favorite day of the week!!