Lessons From a Desk Drawer

Lessons From a Desk Drawer

 

Sometimes when I think of my father–when I think of his twinkling eyes and the stories he’d tell and the songs he’d sing and the amazing way he had of making you feel like you could be more than you ever dreamed you could be–I laugh with the sheer joy of it.

He was only 5’6″ tall with a lifetime of living on his face and the mischievousness of a million pranks in his grin.

He was a teacher and a soccer coach and a geography whiz and a listener and an ice cream eater and a Monopoly marathoner and he could keep you on the edge of your seat with the entire history of the Revolutionary War–told with more drama and intrigue than a million dollar movie.

I asked him once for advice.  I was about to be a parent and I was nervous and overwhelmed and worried I would make mistakes.  I poured out my heart and told him about my fears and asked him how he learned how to be such a great dad.

He paused for a while and thought for a moment and then turned and fixed his eyes on mine with a serious look.

“Don’t worry about making mistakes,” he told me.  “Because you will.  You’ll make mistakes and learn from them and make a few more while you’re learning how to fix the first ones.  The secret is not about making mistakes–it’s about being willing to try and try and try some more.  When you are a parent it’s part of the job.”

He stopped for a moment and then laughed out loud.

“Shhh.  Don’t tell your mother, but I don’t think too much about the hows and whys and whens and ifs of being a parent.  I leave all that to her.” 

Then he grinned at me conspiratorially and added,

“Just between you and me….

….all I really do is show up.”Continue reading

The Top Ten Stories of 2016

The Top Ten Stories of 2016

 

Somehow, inadvertently, this has turned into the week of 2016.

It kind of happened all on its own.

First, there were the top ten projects of 2016.

Then there were the top ten before and afters of 2016.

But as much as I love decorating a room or making wood slice banners or stamping silver or making bookshelf decorations out of twigs in my yard….

….my heart always has been and always will be with the stories.

I had forgotten about most of them.  That’s why I write the blog because this is where the stories find a home.

Here is my heart.

Here are my choices for the top ten stories of 2016.

Happy reading.Continue reading

The Last Chapter

The Last Chapter

 

I’m editing the last chapter of the book right now.

It’s so close to being done.

Shhhh….don’t tell the publisher, but it was so much easier to write than I ever imagined.

When I started I was a little scared.  A book?  Seriously?  What was I thinking?

And then?

I just sat down at the computer and wrote and wrote and wrote and then I drank some coffee…

…and wrote some more.

Just between us, it really wrote itself. It’s like the story was right there at the tip of my fingers just waiting to come out.

When I was researching stories for the book, I found this one.  It made me laugh and cheer and tear up a little, especially because my tiny basketball player just had emergency eye surgery and had to cut her season short.

This story is written for everyone who has ever faced a challenge.  Everyone who stares a mountain in the face and takes that first step.  Everyone who falls down, dusts themselves off and tries again.

You got this.

We are cheering you on.Continue reading

I’m Not Sending Worry an Invitation

I’m Not Sending Worry an Invitation

 
Fall (5)

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, but only saps today of its strength.” ~ AJ Cronin

When I was pregnant with the twins I wished with all my heart that my tummy had a window on it.

A window with louvered blinds that I could open and shut whenever I wanted to check on the babies.

If only, I thought.

If only I could look and see what they were up to and see their tiny hands and watch their tiny feet kick…

…I wouldn’t worry.Continue reading

When Life Hands You a Story (and a Podcast)

When Life Hands You a Story (and a Podcast)

 
office desk

Today I’m trying something a little different.

A little scary.

A little random.

I spent yesterday taping a podcast.

I know, right?  A podcast?  A little totally out of left field.

I was speaking last week in Virginia and talking decorating and telling stories to the most wonderful group of ladies.  One of the ladies reads my blog and she told me she loved reading the stories online, but hearing me tell them gave another dimension…

….and she suggested I tape a podcast for all of you to listen to.Continue reading

Always Look For the Amazing

Always Look For the Amazing

 
Kentucky_Barn

Yesterday was a day for bad days.

Everything went wrong.

Nothing went right.

I stepped in dog poop when I wasn’t looking and over-curled my hair so I looked like a poodle and ran into a spider web outside and discovered a rotted pumpkin on the hutch in the kitchen.

I awkwardly wasn’t funny when I really thought I was going to be and five different times I opened my mouth….

….and inserted my foot.

I wanted to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my poodle curls and start over.

Continue reading

The Most Important Lesson of All

The Most Important Lesson of All

 

This post was sponsored by Country Curtains.

dance-sign

Teaching life lessons to the next generation is hard.

You begin with the standards.

Be kind to others.

Open the door for your mother.

Be nice to your sister.  Hold your fork properly.  Don’t wear white after Labor Day.Continue reading

The Best New Addition to the Dining Room

The Best New Addition to the Dining Room

 
Dining Room Table Gray Chairs

Every couple of months, I’m lucky enough to get to go to the Kirkland’s corporate offices to tour all the behind the scenes.

I love those trips.

Everyone there feels like they should live down the street from me and I get to see all the upcoming collections and pretend like I’m a home and garden reporter in my head.

On my last trip, right in the middle of almost having a come-apart over all the reclaimed wood and this new vintage reproduction light collection, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye.

I couldn’t help it.  I skipped and rushed and ran to the back wall….

….to see this.Continue reading