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Welcome

I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

8 Jul

a new venture for me

HELLO!!!! Yes, that’s me shouting hello at y’all … it’s been way too long and I’ve been far too busy. I have lots to share and words building up inside of me … but no time to sit and sort them out.

Besides my girls being out of school, and a plethora of horse shows, I’ve decided to join my friend Wendy in running her paper and gift store, Papaya Papers! Eeeeekkkk … am I crazy?! Some might say yes. In fact, I’d pretty much be nodding my head in agreement!

I mentioned back in January that I was helping Wendy do some buying, merchandising, and marketing? That seemed to be going so well, she asked me to invest in the store and become partners. I absolutely didn’t need one more thing to add to my plate, so this one required a lot of soul searching and prayer.

After some time, I decided to go for it!

In hindsight, the timing’s been difficult because the girls are home for the summer, and we also have quite a bit of travel and kids going here and there … I somehow forgot I was their driver for these activities, and literally scheduled one to be on one side of town, while another needed to be on the other side of town at the exact same time.

But anyway.

The girls have been really supportive and they know how much it means to me. One day I was leaving for the store, and maybe apologized to Wynter for something {I can’t remember the exact details}, and she said, “It’s okay mom, I know how important this is to you.” Heart swell.

Right after our partnership was official, we decided to move into a new location. And I think that’s probably what’s been the most time consuming. We completely remodeled the inside of the new location … we’re slated to open August 5th … and it’s been busy, busy, busy!

 All that said, I do love it. I see a huge opportunity for growth and I’m excited to be a part of it!

Pluuusssssss … I got to go to the National Stationery Show {it’s been about 5 years since I’ve been} and see all of this paper goodness!

Wendy and I announcing our new partnership via social media!

Truth from Ink Meets Paper!

Paper Bandit Press had me at “free phone charging …”

Ahhh … we met the lovely Grace from Writefully His. Not only does she have lovely paper goodness, but 20% of her proceeds are used to purchase pencils and paper for children in East Africa! Seriously!? More companies should do this! Love!

1 canoe 2 … really, I can’t say anything more. Everything they make causes my heart to flutter!

Snow & Graham. Just classic paper awesomeness. Trust me.

Belle & Union Co. is new-to-me. And I’m smitten. My favorite, favorite, favorite booth I ever-did-see!

This card is from Southern Fried Design. It’s a line with southern sayings and it’s perfect! A small factoid about me … I’m what you’d call a closet Garth Brooks fan. I love me some Garth! The closet part came when he went all Chris Gaines on us!

Sugar*Paper LA. Perfection. Plain and simple.
Eons ago, I found them online and had them design some personalized stationery for me. They were just a small little letterpress company at that time. And well … look at them now!

These are two companies we found and fell in love with! Both have sheet wrap {which we’ll now be carrying at Papaya}, and the designs are both simple and lovely! Can’t wait to get this into the store soon!

This morning Wendy and I are headed back to Atlanta for the Atlanta Gift Market to find more awesomeness to bring into Papaya!

I’m not gonna lie … overall, this new venture has taken a toll on me … but it also feeds my creative soul in a way that nothing else can.

Some may wonder, “Is it worth it?”

Yeah. Absolutely!


Posted in broadway paper, papaya papers, stationery


6 Jun

nothing is wasted :: guest post

I can’t remember how I first started following Endless Pursuit … I think it might’ve been on Instagram? Guess it doesn’t really matter, the point is, they’re my people! “How so,” you might wonder? Read this from their About page and you’ll get the picture!

God has not abandoned or forgotten about you. Nor is it in His will for you to be sick. That is why we challenge you to rise up with Endless Pursuit as we declare the promises of God over our situations. We exist to speak hope into the sick: make them catalysts, dream weavers, humbleness makers, and joy fillers. Circumstances will not enslave us, rather in defiance we will speak out healing and faith. God is our provider.

Anyway. When Ryan asked if I’d consider being a guest contributor, I was honored. When I was 5 months late in getting him my first post, I was impressed with his patience! :)

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might remember that I’d recently had a couple of my girls at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester? And if you don’t follow me on social media … well … I recently had a couple of my girls at Mayo. :)

It was Taylor primarily who’d had a seemingly sudden onset of serious health issues and I wanted her seen by experts. And because we were going, I decided to bring Hunter along and have her seen for a couple of things she’s been dealing with as well.

Hunter’s issues ended up minor, but Taylor’s not so much. We found out she’s got an autoimmune, chronic disease she’ll deal with the rest of her life. And while I’m thankful we were able to get an answer to what’s going on, I hate that she’ll now face this suckiness.

And so … in the midst of my writer’s block – while trying to keep good on my promise to Ryan and get my post in – God whispered some hope in my direction and I shared those thoughts over at Endless Pursuit a couple of weeks ago.

If you’re facing something today, or just in need of a little hope or encouragement, I’d love for you to join me over there.


Posted in guest post, multiple sclerosis, taylor


7 May

mom series interview

I interrupt my unscheduled silence to bring you a recent interview I was honored to participate in. When Christa asked if I’d consider answering a few questions on motherhood for a series she was doing, I rather jumped on the opportunity!

I hope you’ll stop by to read the other interviews as well. Soooo good!


Posted in guest post, parenting


28 Mar

you’re awake. you’re awesome. live like it.

Have you heard of Kid President? He’s a cute little guy filled with fun tidbits of wisdom and encouragement. His videos make me smile, they make me think, and they fill me with encouragement.

I came across this one recently and shared it with my nephew. He’s had some not-so-great days lately and is feeling discouraged. When I saw this video, I immediately thought of him … cuz some days we get ice cream … and well … some days we don’t. But just because we don’t, doesn’t mean the life we’ve been given doesn’t have a purpose.

Go deeper with me here, I’m not talking just about ice cream! :)

Anyway. Just a simple video full of encouragement and truth to brighten your Friday.

{if you’re reading in an RSS feed, click here to see the most awesome-sauciest encouragement ever!}

some days you’ll get ice cream …

And some days you won’t.

some days your kite will fly high …

And some days it will get stuck in a tree.

We all mess-up sometimes. The biggest mess-up? Not forgiving each others mess-ups.

Treat everyone like it’s their birthday. Even if they don’t deserve it.

Take brain pictures.

You were made from love. For love. And to spread love.

Love is always louder. No matter what.
Even if hate has a bullhorn, love is louder.

There are plenty of reasons to dance, you just have to look for them.

We should give people high fives just for getting out of bed.

You’re awake. You’re awesome. Live like it.


Posted in encouragement, movie, random


14 Mar

psalm 38 – #shereadstruth

Has anyone been following along with the current SheReadsTruth series for lent … “fasting?” It’s been so very good! If you’re looking for a study to join, participate in, or just follow along … this is definitely one to read!

This week we’ve been asked to share our thoughts on Psalm 38. It’s long — a lot longer than last week’s – but it’s good! Lots of bits of wisdom and insight! I’ll share a few take-aways after the verse below:

A David Psalm

Take a deep breath, God; calm down—
don’t be so hasty with your punishing rod.
Your sharp-pointed arrows of rebuke draw blood;
my backside smarts from your caning.

I’ve lost twenty pounds in two months
because of your accusation.
My bones are brittle as dry sticks
because of my sin.
I’m swamped by my bad behavior,
collapsed under gunnysacks of guilt.

The cuts in my flesh stink and grow maggots
because I’ve lived so badly.
And now I’m flat on my face
feeling sorry for myself morning to night.
All my insides are on fire,
my body is a wreck.
I’m on my last legs; I’ve had it—
my life is a vomit of groans.

Lord, my longings are sitting in plain sight,
my groans an old story to you.
My heart’s about to break;
I’m a burned-out case.
Cataracts blind me to God and good;
old friends avoid me like the plague.
My cousins never visit,
my neighbors stab me in the back.
My competitors blacken my name,
devoutly they pray for my ruin.
But I’m deaf and mute to it all,
ears shut, mouth shut.
I don’t hear a word they say,
don’t speak a word in response.
What I do, God, is wait for you,
wait for my Lord, my God—you will answer!
I wait and pray so they won’t laugh me off,
won’t smugly strut off when I stumble.

I’m on the edge of losing it—
the pain in my gut keeps burning.
I’m ready to tell my story of failure,
I’m no longer smug in my sin.
My enemies are alive and in action,
a lynch mob after my neck.
I give out good and get back evil
from God-haters who can’t stand a God-lover.

Don’t dump me, God;
my God, don’t stand me up.
Hurry and help me;
I want some wide-open space in my life!

This Psalm title is a psalm to bring to remembrance. Matthew Henry says {paraphrasing}, “This psalm teaches us in times of sickness and affliction to bring to remembrance, in times of sin to bring to remembrance, and in times of adversity to bring to remembrance. Also to use this petition – psalm – when praying for others who may be facing sickness, sin, and/or adversity.”

As I read through this psalm, I can see myself in the way David is crying out … “Take a deep breath, God; calm down—don’t be so hasty.”

And … paraphrasing here – “Ouch! My bumbum hurts from your discipline!”

And then blah, blah, blah … the need to list out all my adversities … as if God doesn’t already know what I’m going through.

“My heart’s about to break;
I’m a burned-out case.”

{can I get a witness?}

And then some more blah, blah, blah with a good dose of whine thrown in!

But then … the promise! The good word! The money we can take to the bank:

“What I do, God, is wait for you,
wait for my Lord, my God—you will answer!”

Then a little more whine -

“I’m on the edge of losing it—
the pain in my gut keeps burning.”

And then a grand finale plea to finish my prayer:

“Don’t dump me, God;
my God, don’t stand me up.
Hurry and help me;
I want some wide-open space in my life!”

Don’t dump me God. Don’t forsake me. Don’t forget about me. Hurry up Lord. I’m here waiting. Help me! I want … need … wide-open space in my life.

I don’t know what God knows about you. But what God knows about me? I can whine with the best of ‘em! I mean, surely someone needs to remind Him of what I’m going through. Not to mention that P.S. to hurry up and help me already. Haven’t I endured enough?

And then I remember. The same promise we talked about last week — wait and watch. He WILL answer.

They’re not just words. It’s a promise. It’s God’s promise. No matter how long it takes, one thing we can always, always, always be absolutely sure of? God promises are always right.on.time. HIS time.

He loves us. He hasn’t forsaken us … He promises us He never will. And I believe it. I’m thankful for it. And I rest in it.


Posted in bible, bible study, she reads truth