Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Musings

So, I'm not really a bandwagon person, (WHAT?? I totally AM!)-and I am shameless to admit, I have followed this blogger-turned-New York Times-best selling writer for several years now. This may be the best book I've ever read. It's raw, it's real, it's powerful and passionate. Beg, borrow or steal it from a friend as soon as you can. 
That's my book review for this Michigan Monday. :)
I'm still doing a fair amount of furniture painting for my booth at Not So Shabby but haven't been painting anymore for clients. My busy schedule forced me to cut out one of the irons in the fire  and that was the one. It didn't take too many 'notes to self' to semi-retire from that aspect of my business. My hamstrings, back and neck were reminding me daily that I wasn't as young as I once was and my therapeutic massage bills were eating away at my profits! Ha! Here is a desk that Ken and I found at an estate sale up in Ludington this summer while on a bike ride. We came back in the van and loaded her up along with several other HUGE pieces that are still waiting for their make-overs in our garage, which I'm hoping to tackle yet today. 

 I just brought that one to the booth last week and think it's still available but I'm heading there today to see what I need to restock. The sign below was a custom order, and I had enough wood to make two. I have done this saying in different style fonts and is still a heart warming phrase to hang just about anywhere. although most young moms have ordered it for their baby's nursery. 

The "Make it Count" sign was a custom order for a dear friend battling stage four colon cancer. She is is such a role model to me in so many ways and her prayer for this journey of beauty and pain has been to plead with God to make this trial count. He's already used her countless ways in my life to challenge me to love deeply and give people the benefit of the doubt, which hasn't always been easy for me to do. 

I had an incredible time last week up north with these wonderful women. We had scheduled this trip months ago to be our "mourning our college kids departures" but it ended up quite the celebration as opposed to the pity party we were marketing it to be. Lots of shopping, eating, wine tasting and laughing!
 Traverse City, Michigan and the weather couldn't have been any more perfect. Indian Summer at it's best!

 Breck celebrated her Junior year Homecoming with this group of friends that she has been close with since day one in middle school. It's been so fun getting to know the parents of these kids through the years, who have become great friends and a consistent source of lots of bon fires, dinners and get-togethers. (Brecken is the first girl on left in first row).
 Sneak peek at a farmhouse remodel project that I've been assisting with for over a year. Emily and I have become good friends during this process and I'll be sad to see this one wrap up. I hope to snap some pics before they move in sometime in the next few weeks. Chip and Joanna move over-Emily and Christy are the new show in town. :)


 I haven't been posting as faithfully as Brecken's varsity volleyball has occupied lots of our free time and we aren't complaining about it one bit. I must confess, it's been kinda nice having something force us out of the garage on our workshop Saturdays to attend all day vb tournaments. Lots of quality time with Ken and other vb parents. I wouldn't trade it for the world, knowing how quickly these next two school years with her will fly by!
I am adjusting shockingly well to Kennedy being in California. I miss her terribly but am so happy with her adventurous spirit and am living vicariously through her as she hits the beach each week (and hopefully the books from time to time) too. She's doing great and I appreciate all the prayers you guys have lifted up for me during this exciting and scary transition. 
Have a great week!

 Breck's vb team. (She's second from left).


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Transitions and Treasures

Hi Guys,
I had this blog drafted and all ready to go a few weeks ago and forgot to publish. So here it is, setting the stage for the latest post. 
It's already been one of those days! Ha!

 It's been so long since I've posted here. I was doing incredibly well all summer keeping busy with work and play but the week is finally here in which I am coming to terms with the fact that our 'family years' are over as we knew them.

We are flying with Kennedy out to California tomorrow to get her settled into college at Azusa Pacific University near LA. She is so excited for this next stage of her life that it makes me excited for her, but that's not to say that these past two weeks have been without any tears.

 You Moms who have been there before me, know exactly what I am feeling and you precious Moms with little ones get it too-as I have felt true empathy from you as well.

My bestie, DC came over this morning with a new book for me to read on the trip and a glass jar marked "tear jar" that I must've given her when her oldest girl left for school two years ago. I barely remember doing that, but what I do remember is how much I admired and looked up to how DC made the transition from Mom to supportive friend without much fanfare or without filling the tear jar full. :) 

I am praying expectantly that I will be able to  manage a hug and a good-bye without stealing Kennedy's joy and faith-filled excitement as she begins this next adventure. 

We were able to take one last memory making family trip-just the four of us last weekend to Six Flags Great America which was just the quality time I needed to wrap my head around this transition. 
 Please pray for Brecken as she will be here with us for two more years without her confidant and best friend and will have to put up with all my shenanigans and drama on her own. 

The three amigos waiting in line for the 10th roller coaster ride of the morning-the only one my nauseous stomach made me sit out for.
 After a fun-filled day and night at the amusement park, my girls were good sports and willingly went along for a walk down memory lane at my Alma mater-Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin which was too close to the park not to stop by and relive my 'glory days'. :)

My very first dorm room Freshman year was unlocked and open and this is the same mirror where I teased my 80's hair and tucked it in a banana clip every morning. (Arrrrgggh, remember those)??
 Here's my sorority floor-I had to recreate a pic I have of my friend Joelle and I doing this. I have to admit this wasn't quite as easy in my 40s as it was in my 20's. I needed Brecken to help hoist me up there!! :)
 I had to take Ken and the girls to Ron's Place-a favorite bar/restaurant where we spent plenty of Tuesday and Friday nights over the years. The girls were less than impressed with the few scattered memories of my years at Carthage but they seemed to be having fun regardless. 
 Munchies and Virgin Pina Calodas at Ron's. Times have changed (and I'm thankful for that). :)
 Thanks for putting up with my flashback photos, and now for some pics of some treasures at Not So Shabby. I did a walk through last week and snapped some pics of the pieces that caught my eye. Head in there sometime to see some new items and booths!

 New rustic clock in my booth and lots of great new pillows. 
 I brought this desk/vanity in just last week. The mirror needs to attached with brackets on the back but it is in great condition and neutral enough for any space. 

 This is a brand new booth and vendor. I loved everything about it. Seriously puts my booth to shame and makes me want to step up my game but I just seem to run out of time whenever I am thinking of a complete makeover. Check this out sometime. It's in the very back row. Just beautiful!

Until I return... Hope things are well with you Champs. Thanks for journeying through life with me and making me feel less alone in these transitions. 


Tears and Treasures

Here's the latest blog post, but be sure you read the one precipitating this one. I had drafted it and forgot to post a few weeks ago. :)

Well, I did it. I said good-bye to my girl last week. She is now officially a freshman at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. A whole country and a lifetime away from her Momma who misses her terribly. 
 Ken, Kennedy and I took off from the GR airport on an early Tuesday morning and left Brecken to stay with family and friends as she couldn't miss her volleyball practices and matches here that week. This is she and Kennedy saying their farewells at the airport that morning. Mercy.

Once I survived that, it was excitement and anticipation for all the good things ahead.

Ken did an amazing job planning our trip with a fantastic hotel suite just around the corner from campus and a Target and Ikea! Score!

We had nothing shipped before hand. We decided to purchase most of her dorm necessities once we got there, which worked out surprisingly well. She had already chatted and coordinated with her roommate that their room would be soft greys and whites so it was easy to stick to that style and find bedding sets and accessories that didn't break the bank but that were cute and functional.

 We actually got to move her in a day early to beat the rush of the rest of the incoming freshman, which was super smooth and seamless. 

 Every morning consisted of a little more shopping for items she would need to make this place her new home. Gotta love IKEA!!
Afternoons consisted of picking up her long-distance boyfriend Jordan, (who no longer is long distance-PRAISE!) and spending time checking out the sites and attractions around Santa Monica  and Malibu, which is about 45 minutes from campus. Third Street Promenade.
 Santa Monica Pier
 Biking from the Pier to Venice Beach

 And enjoying campus family activities and the breathtaking mountain views.
Of course, I was in my element staging and prepping her room to make it comfortable and cozy for her once we left. Fortunately for me, we have similar taste in keeping things subdued and subtle. She didn't want lots of color, and with the fabulous dark burgundy carpet, I think that was a wise move. :)

 Great find from Ikea-$30 storage cart-the perfect height for her lofted bed. 
 Not lots you can do to beautify a dorm style desk! I was itching to get some contact paper to cover the insides and flat fronts of the desk, but both Ken and Kennedy thought that was taking things a bit too far!
 Still the hover mother that I've always been. Old habits die hard. :)

Wall decal we found at Hobby Lobby on clearance. Accessories all from Ikea including the battery operated candles. 
 Of course she needed reminders of the mitten and her friends and family at home.

We couldn't have felt better about leaving her in good hands at a Christian University that has put "God First" since it's founding. 

On the last day before we flew home, the University president prayed over the families in the Sunday morning chapel service and afterwards, challenged each of the families to make a family crest or circle symbolizing the start of this next stage of life-launching our children.

He said that upon graduation, families are asked to go back to the exact spot of that circle and then truly commission their children into the world. A very meaningful experience praying together with Kennedy and Ken and for Brecken at home for all of us to still feel connected and whole. 
God is so faithful. 
I haven't cried even once upon my return and am truly just so proud and happy that she is able to make her way in this world and find her place in it. 
Thanks for letting me post and process this transition and for so many of you offering words of encouragement and support. 

And before I leave you with that trip down memory lane, I wanted to let you know that Ken and I hauled an entire van load to my booth at Not So Shabby last night. It was desperately needed as I have let my inventory run too low lately. Haven't been hitting the garage sale trail lately but did manage to hit a great one last Saturday and ventured to Burley Park Swap Meet for some treasures on Labor Day. Here are the results of that: 

Make sure you head down there sometime and check out the loot. I'll be adding more each week as my garage is still pretty full and we're not able to do the Fall Peddler's Market downtown Zeeland this year because of other commitments. That market is so great. Make sure you don't miss it this year! Saturday, September 17 from 3-8 and you can even stroll with a glass of wine! Feel The Zeel !!