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

15 Jan

atlanta gift market and what i’ve been up to!

Did y’all know I used to own an incredibly awesome stationery store? I’ve been known to mention it every now and again! :)

Broadway Paper was my heart and soul. And I really, really miss it! Not the stress of running a business while raising four daughters {amongst other crazy goings-on in my life}, but I so so so miss seeing the latest trends and designs in the stationery world! I adore pretty paper, ribbons, cards, and wrap!

And so … imagine my delight when I found a friend who owns a gift-slash-paper store!! Papaya Papers is more gift than paper {right now anyway … heeheehee … ’til I have my way with it}, and my friend Wendy is in the process of rebranding the store and shaking up the look of things.

To that end, another friend and I were able to go to the Atlanta Gift Market with her last week and help her buy for the store. Oh Happy Day!!

Guess who’s in charge of her NEW stationery corner of the store?! If you guessed me, you’d be correct!

I was in heaven! I spent three hours going through stationery lines I love, while finding new lines to love!

One of my favorites below … 1canoe2! Um … hello gorgeous handpainted globe!!

These candles are from a line I used to carry, but they’ve totally upped the design ante since I’ve last seen them. Anthro anyone?

I was definitely in my own little happy place while thumbing through thousands of greeting cards!

Not a fan of these frames … but hello awesome display idea!!

And while at the Mart, we just had to look at some of the furniture displays. I kinda love everything about this beautiful pink get-up!

It was a great couple of days helping a friend while also feeding my paper-loving-soul!

And that’s not all! I’m helping Wendy revamp her website {soon-to-be-announced}, I’m helping out with her social media, and I’ll be working with Wendy at the store {yesterday I learned registers!}.

A few of you mentioned you missed me on social media last week … I was there, but posting for the store, not myself. If you’d like to follow along you can find us here:

Papaya Papers on Instagram
Papaya Papers on Facebook

So that’s me. How ’bout you? Anyone up to some fun soul-loving activities?

Posted in broadway paper, friends, me, random, shopping, stationery

30 Nov

one thousand posts!

This post marks my one thousandth blog post.  I’ve written 1,000 posts!  Is that crazy?

1,000 posts.


4,000+ visitors a day {yesterday hit 5,000! thank you pinterest}.

3 URL’s.

6 blog makeovers.

4 different blog titles.

8.20.07 … my first post titled australia {on my iweb blog!} and here I am today … over four years later … writing my one thousandth post!

I’d also like to take a minute to give a shout out to the 246 posts {yeah, I counted them} I wrote while owner of Broadway Paper.  And I may have had to wipe away a few tears after reading this post.  And this one.  It literally seems like an eternity ago.

Anyway.  Back to the present post.  Have you heard?  It’s number one thousand!!

In other related {celebratory} news … today’s my birthday!!!

I knew this {1,000th} post would coincide with my birthday and I’ve thought long and hard about what I could do to celebrate here with you.  I think what I’ve decided on will bless big!  At least that’s my prayer!

The girls and I won’t be doing our RACK’ed activity this year … pretty much cuz we won’t be here through Christmas, but also because I’m trying hard to focus my {physical and emotional} energy on the girls and our family.

What we’re doing instead are small blessings throughout the season.  We’ve rung Salvation Army bells {people can never resist the kids!}; Operation Christmas Child; we’ll be donating many of the girls toys; the girls are each sponsoring a new Compassion child; I’m doing some anonymous giving; and we’ll be packing and donating lunches to an organization our church is involved in.  Basically just keeping an eye open for where we can help out.

There’s one other thing I wanted to do this year to bless others, but I just couldn’t get it together … mostly, I wasn’t sure how to get it together.  Someone emailed us at MODsquad last year, sharing how they put an ad on Craigslist.  The ad was something to the effect of asking for someone’s need and then filling it.  I couldn’t find the email anywhere and my obsessive mind got all caught up in the specifics/logistics and well … I just haven’t put it out there.

But!  What I did decide for this grand celebration of mine?  I’d like to bless three people this Christmas season.  It could be you or someone you know.  Someone that is really in need.  That can’t afford to buy their children gifts, food, electricity bills.  A real need.

Do you know someone?  Is it you?  Please leave a comment, or if it’s too personal, contact me through an email or the contact link at the top of the page.

The girls and I will go through all the requests {names will remain anonymous to them} and we’ll pick three needs that we’d like to help fill.  One thousand is the lucky number, because that’s how much we’ll be spending per need!  I won’t be sending cash/check … so please make it something tangible … I can call the electric company, or I can send gift cards, etc.

Make sure to have your requests to me by next week Wednesday, December 7th.  I won’t be announcing any “winners,” but I’ll contact you via email {please be sure to leave a working email address}.  If I email you and don’t hear back by Friday, December 9, we’ll choose another recipient.

I love blessing others and I’m looking forward to this giving project!

Thank you dear readers … I love connecting with you … I’m encouraged by your kind words, your support and your open hearts.  You’ve blessed me here in more ways than you know!

Posted in birthday, broadway paper, family thoughts, giveaway

4 Aug

highschool sweethearts :: engagement session

Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.

Could this couple be any cuter?  I think not.  And I don’t think they could be any more in love either.

Katie’s a graphic designer and used to intern at the store for me … I love her creative energy!  I’ve been wanting to try a more stylized session and this was the perfect opportunity.  Katie and Nick were game for most anything!  Despite the crazy, sticky humidity and 85+ degree weather … we had a great time with this session.  Thank you, thank you for allowing me to capture these memories for you!

Okay … I totally had to share this brilliance!  Katie and Nick are going to use these photographs as their table numbers for the big day!  Are you loving?!?

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Posted in broadway paper, photography

18 May

realization :: growth {tuesdays unwrapped}

Some of you may not know that one year ago today, I handed over my 8 1/2 year old baby to a new owner.  One of the hardest things I’ve had to do.

But I always knew that when the time came, I’d be ready.  And quite honestly, once I was ready … I’ve never looked back.

Right now, at this very moment the National Stationery Show is in full swing in NYC.  It’s the crème de la crème in the paper world … one that I’ve been a part of for the past 8 years and had fully intended to be there again this year.

But as the time drew near … it’s dawned on me that’s not my life anymore.  I’ve grown into something else … I’m on to a new chapter in my life.

Why is it so hard for us sometimes to move on to that next chapter?  Why do we cling to the past?  Comfort maybe?  The past is all we know?

This past year for me has been amazing.  I’ve seen myself {and my family} grow in ways I never thought possible.  I’d never fully imagined what was in store for me.

And although my health has declined a bit … my spirit has soared.

None of this would’ve been possible though, if I hadn’t let go of the past.  As hard as it was, I needed to realize that I was growing into a new person.  A new mother.  A new wife.  A new person in Him.

Sometimes … actually, often times … I think it’s important for us to step out of our comfort zone.  To take a leap, take a chance or risk … I don’t think you can grow if you don’t.

So … if I’m not at the Stationery Show … then where did I end up?  Instead of the hustle and bustle of the city, I grabbed my two favorite paper-peeps and headed south of the border!

We’re on our way home this morning … but it’s been a great time in the sun, sleeping in, watching movies, and having more than our fair share of chips & salsa!

Here’s to growth and moving on …

This post is linked up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky

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Posted in broadway paper, tuesdays unwrapped