Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Weekend in Numbers

This past weekend we had the pleasure of flying to SC for our 2nd out of a 3 fall 2013 wedding series. It was wonderful to see so many lovely and dear faces, but somehow, no matter how many days we're in town, the trip flies by and there's nothing I can do about it. So very sad.

With this wedding being at a vineyard on the side of a mountain roughly 4 hours from Charleston, the Hubs and I flew into CHS and then embarked on a road trip with the future Paynes, whose wedding happens to be the 3rd of 3. Woohoo!

My last 5 days have been a whirlwind of great proportions, so I figured I'd let the numbers do the talking today:

  • Four- the number of beds I've slept in over the last 5 days.
  • Three- the number of times I ate at Chick-Fil-A in 3 day span (shhh, one of them was a secret).
  • Four- the number of varying modes of transportation that the Hubs and I used to get home on Monday. A plane, train, bus, and car were all involved. Gag me. I told the Hubs we should hop on our bikes for a second when we got home just to set some sort of personal record.
  • Thirty-four- the number of minutes our GPS told us we'd need to get to the wedding from our hotel in the middle of nowhere. The kicker was we had about 30 minutes until the wedding started.
  • Twenty- the number of minutes the woman at our hotel's front desk told us it would take to get to the wedding that was now 34 minutes away. Cool. Thanks, lady.
  • Two- the number of times I saw my life flash before my eyes as the Hubs tried to shave about 6 minutes off said travel time to the wedding so we'd be on time. Through winding mountains. I don't handle speeding through mountains well apparently.
  • Eight- the number of fast food meals we consumed throughout our travels. I have never eaten so poorly in one trip in my entire life and I'm so NOT proud of it. Ugh. I was desperate for fresh veggies by day three. Give me roughage or give me death!
  • One- the number of sweetly sleeping babies we got to visit. Precious.
  • Twenty-six- the number of hours spent traveling out of our 80 hour visit. I'm tired. No, for real, like bone tired.
  • Eleven- the number of friends that I got to hug and catch up with in said 80 hour trip. There's just nothing better.
  • Four- the number of cokes that the Hubs successfully received on our four Delta flights, which was something to celebrate. Last month when we flew with Delta, out of the four times the flight attendant asked what he'd like to drink and he responded with "Coke, please", the poor guy only received ONE coke. The remaining THREE times, they took his order, forgot within the 3 second window and walked away. I'm not kidding. I was crying I was laughing so hard by the third time he got "coke dissed". We're pretty sure it's a conspiracy.
  • Fifteen-  the number of days until we fly back to Charleston for our final wedding of 2013.
  • Sixteen- the number of days my suitcase will most likely stay packed until it's time to repack it. Don't judge. It's a character flaw. Seriously, stop judging. I can feel you doing it as I type. I promise I'll pull out my dirty stuff before then and I'll repack with clean stuff. Pinky promise. I'm no dirt bag, I'm just a tad bit lazy. What?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pickin' Paradise

I feel like I have a million and one things to say after the last week or so, but I'd be remiss not to start with my amazing pickin' adventure last Thursday. I now know what it feels like to win the lottery. Thursday was the Olympics of treasure hunting for me and the gold medal that I adorned was rust, dust, dirt and a knuckle splinter. True story.

As I've shared before, my great aunt is beyond generous. She just gives and gives and gives, and all with a smile. She sits there and encourages you to literally take her stuff. I want to be more like her. I'm pretty sure that's how we're all called to be, but when I look deep down inside, I'm not there yet. I can tend to cling to some of my stuff. But she gets it and whether she knows it or not, she's teaching me to loosen my grip of "stuff". She fully embodies the "it's better to give than to receive" like no one I've ever seen. So thanks to her offer to pick the warehouse, coupled with her beyond giving heart, the perfect storm was created. Hallelujah!

And before I go any further, I'd like to give a shout out and a deep thanks to my great uncle Maury, who's no longer with us, for his gift to my aunt of 8 shopping carts. An odd gift to some, I'm sure, but a brilliant gift when you own various floors of a warehouse and a collection of items that spans about a 60-70 year window. We filled those babies up. Some women receive flowers, and others, shopping carts. Brilliant, I tell you.

With only about 1.5 hours allotted, we began to dig. And dig, we did. In boxes, in cargo crates, in bins, on rolling factory carts, etc... I have never seen so many treasures in all of my life. I was beyond giddy. Rust is my crack, apparently. I'm a proud rust fiend. From antique family photo albums complete with old photos of families who are now nameless, from maps to furniture to light fixtures, we scored big time. One of the items that she gave us are these awesome mint green trash cans that Mike, from American Pickers, also purchased from her warehouse. There were 10 in the lot and he bought 7 of them. We now have the remainder. Pretty cool that we'll have inventory as seen on American Pickers. And for her to know that those were something we'd love, well that's just the cherry on top.

I wish in my treasure-overloaded mind, I would've thought to take pictures of what we pulled, but my mind was mush the entire time. I blame it on the rust crack. I don't think I even slept much of that night while replaying everything we saw which was a problem since we had to get up at 3:30am to catch a flight the next morning. So until we go back to pick up our "picks", here a just a few items that I'm still day dreaming about since we pulled them:
  • 3 mint green and metal trash cans
  • A cool old map to be framed
  • Set of mid-century wood & metal chairs
  • Stools galore
  • Awesome green folding chairs
  • Tufted armchairs
  • China
  • Light fixtures
  • 2 green industrial, barn lights
  • Frames and mirrors
  • End tables
  • A railroad light
  • Antique Jim Beam decanters
  • Wooden coke crates
  • More furniture....more everything...
And as we drove away, I was overwhelmed by emotion. I just cannot fathom someone giving us such an amazing start to our new business venture without wanting anything in return. What this "pick" did for us is beyond what we could ask or imagine and I simply don't have enough words to be able to thank my aunt Judy and uncle Maury. My words will always fall short, but hopefully they know my heart well enough to know that I take NONE of this for granted. And for the personal treasures that she entrusted to me that evening like a set of Maury's china and sterling silver candelabras, I'll treasure them. Those items, I will not loosen my grip on, and will hopefully one day pass them along to my children, along with the story of who they once belonged to. And that is a priceless gift.

So, I hope one day you'll come to our shop and share in our "pick". Maybe some of these items will bring you as much joy as they did when we unburied them from picks of the past. Because in the end, that's what everything we do at SV is about. There's just nothing better in my book.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gone Pickin'

This evening I shall embark in my first real "pickin'" experience. Five o'clock can not get here fast enough, I tell you. And, this first pick is just one of two that we have on our books over the next two weeks. Yeehaw, y'all!

Tonight, my SV partner, Traci, and I will redeem the amazing offer to pick through my Great Aunt's warehouse. Although my Great Uncle is no longer with us, my Aunt still resides in their home that I grew up being fascinated with. Their space has actually been featured on American Pickers twice, so I know I'm not the only fan out there that is fascinated with their collection. My Uncle Maury took collecting seriously with one of the largest tool collections in the Midwest, and he could tell you exactly when and where he purchased each item. And there are thousands of them. He was a pro and I'm just a rookie in awe of his work.

So when my Aunt extended the invitation to pick their warehouse this evening, we immediately rearranged our schedules to be there. The thrill of the hunt makes this heart beat fast. Plus, I love learning more about what Maury found interesting enough to "pick" himself, so it'll be a win-win. The hard part will be letting go of things and actually selling them. I tend to want to keep family items close to home, but a successful business owner that does not make.

Our second pick connection was made through our new storefront landlord (are they still called that anymore?). She's graciously set us up with a couple who are responsible for developing two large communities in our region, and they apparently own half a dozen barns that we'll be allowed to pick through in two weeks. Again, I cannot wait!

In preparation, I've been brushing up on my pickin' language and skills via our friends at American Pickers. I'm ready to "pop" on a few things, if the price is right, and I'm fully prepared to "bundle" items when needed. Now if I can just find some old gloves and a small flashlight that I can hold, hands free, in my mouth while digging, I'll be all set. And if I can keep my spider phobia to a minimum, that'd be great too.

Ready, set, pick!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Happy Halloween Meltdown

So, let me tell you about the time I had a not so small, emotional meltdown in a haunted house.

With my future sister-in-law, Sonia, leaving this week to head back to China to begin her fiancé visa process, we figured we'd do a little Halloween send off for her recently. And as my wise husband states "what says "so long America" quite like paying $10 to have a bunch of scary looking rednecks chase you through dark hallways?" Nothing, folks. There's nothing quite like the haunted house experience no matter where you call home or what language you speak. Fear needs no subtitles.

My family loves to be scared. We like scary movies, haunted houses, and I still, to this day, find no greater joy than to jump out at someone while yelling "boo". It happens to the poor Hubs more than he'd like. I even hide and jump out at our poor poodle. It's in my veins, man, and I pray I never out grow it. I swear we will have conversations like this in our home some day:
Future mini-berg: "Dad, there's something under my bed!"
Hubs/ Dad-berg: "Yes, there is son, but don't be scared. It's just your mom waiting to yell "Boo" the minute you climb in. Just dive in so she can't grab your ankles."

So, with that being said, we bundled up and headed to the local "Screamatorium". And scream we did. Or at least I did. I screamed so long and so hard that I was physically nauseous the entire ride home. Well, and the fact that I ate Thai food right before we ran and screamed and stumbled through a dark and disturbing building. Thai food is never a good idea before an activity like that. I can now say that last sentence with great and utter confidence.

Where the whole event went south was upon the appearance of the first chainsaw. I. Don't. Do. Chainsaws. Like, to my very core of who I am, I do not do them. I get it. I know they're not real. I just don't care. It's a fight or flight situation when I hear the first engine rev. I now can also say with great confidence, if I'm ever in a true fight or flight situation, falling straight into a fetal position is not a good option. Fetal does not get you any closer to the fight or the flight response. You just become bait. And I became a screaming, sweaty, heart palpitating, nauseated heap of chainsaw bait. And they took it. Every daggum time. For what felt like hours. Give me clowns, blood, ghouls, etc... But, for the love, do not give me chainsaws.

I knew I had crossed the line from scared to meltdown when I began running in circles and screaming for my brother and Sonia to "get me out right NOW!" I vaguely remember my brother trying to point me in the right direction, but by then, I was a lunatic, running into the same walls I had just hit 5 times before trying to escape the now multiple chainsaws. And I remember seeing my mom switch from a "having fun, haunted house go'er" to protective mom-mode near the end when I was a complete mess and she just stopped and held open her arms to get me out safely. It got that ugly, friends. These saws were in every single room. And there were a lot of rooms. Apparently those so called "rednecks" are smart because they were on to me like white on rice. I had them coming from every direction.

It was all just too much. I would've paid $100 never to have to go through that house again. After I finally broke away from the last chainsaw psychopath, my feet did not stop running until I hit fresh air and dirt. I just ran. Alone. Every man for themselves, people. Hubs was still inside, but I did not care. I was maxed out.

And with full and utter confidence yet again, I can say that if my running-loving Hubs wants me to run a race with him in the future, he need only to have someone waiting around the starting line with a chainsaw. Once I get the courage to climb out of the fetal position, I'll smoke everyone in my path. Believe it. Ironman Chainsaw Massacre? I got that one in the bag for sure.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Opening Soon!

Well, we've officially lost our minds decided to open a shop! It became a done deal when we popped a bottle of champagne and grabbed a paint brush. No turning back now.

With our event rental company's inventory growing beyond what my basement can contain without it spilling over into my actual home, we began the hunt for a new storage facility. We needed a space large enough to store and stage most of our inventory, while also finding something presentable enough to do bridal consults on site. It needed to be rodent free and weather proof. And last but certainly not least, affordable. This proved to be more challenging than one would think.

My SV partner handled most of the hunting as I was still on the fence about dipping into our profit margin to store our items. With weddings, there are definitely ebbs and flows throughout the year and I hated the thought of money only going out during the ebbs. Until the one day she talked me into seeing a property, about 20 minutes outside of our hometown. Yeah right, I thought.

Although I went along with it because she was super jazzed about the space and I respect her opinion, I went into it about 95% sure that it wasn't a good fit. Well, friends, I left knowing we'd sign a lease. How does that happen?

So, I'm officially a co-owner of an event rental business and a small vintage shop in a small town just outside of our city. We've started painting and hunting for inventory and I love it! Will it last? No clue. Will people come and actually buy? If you can tell me, than we'll both know. But we're going to give it a shot. With the freedom of a month to the month lease and possible vendor partnerships to help with the rent, we may be here for 3 months or 24 months. We have more questions than answers right now, but we both feel it's worth a try with minimal overhead costs. You never know until you try and we're both the right amount of crazy to give it a go!

And who passes up a chance at a dream when you already have a wonderful full time job that pays your bills? Not me, thanks to an amazingly supportive husband. I asked, he listened, we threw around questions and scenarios, and he gave me his blessing. At the end of the day, he's my most important business partner so his "go ahead" was a non-negotiable before I'd proceed. With 2 thumbs up, we're off!

So, here we go! I hope you'll come and see us when we open our front doors for the first time with a twinkle of fear and hope all in one glance. We want it to be a creative space for us, but also for you. Have any ideas or suggestions? I'll take em!

Here's a glimpse at our new nest:
The orange had to go! But she did have us at "Hello, barn wood and beams."


In Progress...

More to come...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Beef, It's What's For Dinner

Yesterday I practically gave you a glimpse into my soul, or a small part of it at least. Today, my "glimpse" will be about as deep as a kiddie pool. Don't judge. They all can't be deep, right?

Last night, after painting at our new shop (more to come on that tomorrow), I came home at about 9:30pm to catch up with the Hubs for a few minutes before we crashed for the night. I know he's a big boy, but I'm always curious and somewhat worried about what he makes for dinner when I'm not there, so after discussing the details of our progress at said store, I asked "so what'd you have for dinner?"

"Beef" he responds.

"Beef? From where?" I ask quizzically.

"From the fridge." Duh, his eyes state.

"Hmmm, we don't have beef in the fridge." Growing more intrigued.

"Yes, we do. I ate it. It was in a Tupperware container." Duh-ish eyes again and all mater of fact this time.

"Babe, I haven't cooked beef in about 3-4 months. Are you sure it was beef? Was it pork roast maybe? What else was with it? I rarely make beef."  Panic is starting to set in. Did this man just eat 3 month old beef? How have I missed that in the fridge for months??? Did it not smell? Was it not wearing a fuzzy green sweater by now???

"It was BEEF. Just beef. AND I ATE IT. The container is in the dishwasher if you want to investigate." And now he's over it and turning back to the same episode of the Big Bang Theory that we've watched approximately 42 times since I moved in.

Me-checking in the dishwasher to solve this odd mystery....

"Umm, that was chicken, babe. And was about 3 week old chicken. I planned to through it out tonight for trash day tomorrow." I reply while trying to act like I'm not gagging inside or quickly calculating how many hours he has until food poisoning strikes.

"Well, it tasted like beef to me. It had a beef-like texture to it, and I ate it all."  Boom

Me- gagging, while questioning his ability to make wise decisions, and still gagging.

Well, okay then, folks. There you have it. The beefy taste and texture should've served as his first, giant red flag. Along with the fact that I almost never make beef at home. But nope, he sure did consume about a pound of chicken that he swears is beef. Now I officially know why I worry a bit about what he eats for dinner when I'm not around.

I do guarantee the next time he sees "beef" in our fridge, he'll examine it a little more thoroughly. I know I will!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Without the World Caving In

Every once in a while, someone writes a song that makes you stop dead in your tracks. They make you feel as though they wrote it just for you. Like they had a telescopic shot straight into this crazy, swirly, mostly out of control and out of proportion, head of mine. Well, Jason Mraz, did just that. And then some.

Before I was married, I'd ask my closest friends how their new marriages were going. They'd usually respond with "good", "great", and "fun". But on the days where they were feeling a bit more transparent, they'd say "good, but hard" or "good, but it's more challenging than you think it's going to be".  I, honestly, respected and believed those answers more than those that said "it's perfect!" I mean, I may not have been married, but I had dated for half of my life at that point and I knew full and well, that any relationship can be great, but also more challenging than you'd think at times.

And thus began our first year of marriage in the good, great, and more challenging than I had expected realm. Things that you think will be a sticking point, suddenly aren't, and other areas that you conveniently glossed over in pre-marital counseling because "surely, that won't be an issue for us" suddenly are. And what you're left with is "um, well, this is hard." Once the toughest decisions transition from what colors your napkins will be at the wedding and which frozen drink you'll try at the swim-up bar at your honeymoon resort, to actual real, adult decisions like life insurance policies and what's more important as a couple when searching for a new home- the home or the land that the home sits on, you realize that you are just one person in a team of two. And that no big decision will ever be just your decision again. You may have to go against your heart and your gut and blindly trust this person who wears the 2nd half of your wedding band. It's good and great and scary and challenging.

And just like so many other newlyweds, the Hubs and I hit peaks and valleys together. Head on. Sometimes head first. And you don't want to always talk about every issue that arises because you don't want people to focus on the challenges when there are many, many great things happening too.

So, what's a newlywed to do to get some clarity and center? Listen to Jason Mraz, apparently. On repeat. And so I did. Sometimes there were quiet tears, and sometimes there were more than tears. And one day, when you're trapped in your car after a heated discussion and you're beside yourself because you both know that you're not intending to hurt the other person, but somehow you still are, you just stop and let the words be your comfort, healing and teacher. And for me, no truer words were spoken in that first year than:

"Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got, yeah, we got a lot at stake"

"We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got, and what I'm not, and who I am"

"We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it"

Let's face it, this marriage deal is good, great, fun and hard, but there's no one Id rather face each of those arenas with than the one I chose and the one who chose me. And I HAVE had to learn who I am, what I've got and more importantly, what I'm not.  And I HAVE had to learn how to bend without our world caving in. And finally, when it's all said and done, whether on a great day or challenging one, God does know we're worth it. And so do I. And with every day that passes, we're learning and growing and adding to that worth, and we've become better and stronger versions of who we are and what we're not, and for that I'm grateful.

So humor me today and go on and give it a listen. Turn it way up and let his humbly, transparent words wash right on over you. He's a pretty wise one, that Mr. Mraz.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Junk in the Trunk

This past weekend was spent in my happy place. And for those that don't know, my happy place is amongst old, well loved items. Cobwebs suddenly don't scare me when they're attached to a new treasure. Being covered in a little dust, rust and dirt doesn't phase this girl when I'm out junkin. I find that it's actually good for my soul.

After a few crazy weeks of travel and work, I spent half of Friday and all of Saturday on the hunt for treasures. Each time I walk up to a sale, store, barn, heart speeds up ever so slightly. You just never know what awaits you. It's marvelous!  And with a new adventure on our horizon (hint, hint), it was a good excuse to enjoy a perfect fall weekend whilst hunting for new inventory!

With coffee in hand, some bacon in my belly thanks to the Hubs always cooking breakfast for us on the weekend, and the sunroof open, we hit up a few, local shops and my favorite barn sale of the year. If you haven't been to Nellies Barn Sale in Roscoe, and you're local enough to get there, do it! You won't regret it. Although I am torn in sending more people her way as that's more competition once the flood gates open! But, I like you, so therefore I shall share that tip with you. There's everything from seasonal home décor, homemade candles and décor, vintage and antique to your heart's content, complimentary live music and cider, etc... Does it get any better than that, friends? Not to this girl. Never to this girl. And it's a great excuse for a girls' day out!

So today, I let you in on some of my new treasures for our new endeavor. We're not going public just yet, but when we do, you'll be the first to know;) Because you are my people and I think you're pretty cool.

Until the next sale that steals my heart, I bring you my latest finds... God bless, junk. Really.

And, side note, my SV partner and I have officially been invited on our first "pick"! Like, a real "pickin" through a barn (or about 8 barns in this case). I cannot wait. I may need to sell donate plasma, and maybe a limb, before we go so that money is no object (yeah, right). Ahhhh! Bring on the dust!

Who doesn't want to make pretty things on this "robin's egg" blue work bench? I do! Pick me!

I would like to tuck a bottle of wine, or water, into the bottle holder on this rusty beaut and ride off into the fall leaves. Vines on the seat and spokes, and all.

Sometimes you just have tuck your tail between your legs and tell your husband that you bought another table. Again.

Oh the places this steamer trunk could've been! With one of the cargo stickers still on the side, we know where it went for at least one trip. I bet it once held fancy hats and postcards. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I'm Baaaacccccckkkkkkkkk

Whew! I made it through about 5 weeks of event he@# and have lived to tell the tale. It was touch and go there for awhile, folks, I'm not gonna lie. There were tears shed, moments where I literally laid on the ground and said "I can't keep going" over and over again until I found a tiny sliver of energy left in my pinky toe and drug myself off of the floor. It wasn't pretty, but I made it.

From wedding rental deliveries to staging a full blown styled shoot for Simply Vintage, to wedding expos set-up and schmoozing, to a bridal shower and then to a 300 person corporate event and finally my dad's 60th retro bash, events were created and had and everyone seemed pleased and celebrated so it was worth it. However, if you ask me to plan anything in the next 5 days, I may punch or vomit or cry. If you ask me after the 5 day window, I'll probably take a deep breath and dive right in because I'm an event crazy fool like that. I'm not sure if it's a strength or a flaw, honestly.

After 5 weeks of event bliss (or he@# depending on what day you spoke with me), here are just a few of my "low fives" (get it? Low fives as in non-high fiveness, as in not good, as in "if you do one of the things, I shall be greatly annoyed"):
  • Tear down after any event. I despise the tear down. Is it not enough that you've been setting up  since 8am, you've endured the 5 hour event, and now, in your 14th hour of the work day, you must tear everything down before you can go home and get off of your aching feet?
    • If you want to create a new business, create a wedding and event tear down business. You will kill it! I would pay not to have to tear down what took me 6 hours to create.
  • People who don't RSVP. And, I myself, am guilty of this from time to time, sorry.
  • People who show up late to help set-up.
  • People who show up unprepared to help set-up. If I can manage a list of about 85 things that I need to be able to set-up, please come prepared with your ONE task. Or I will hate dislike you for at least an hour or so. And then once the hatred subsides, because I hate to dislike anyone, I will declare that you, friend, are handling tear down by yourself. Boom.
    • And then I'll actually help you tear down because I'm a nice person, so in the end, the jokes on me. But hopefully, for at least a little while, you'll think that tear down is all on you which will make my heart a bit warm and fuzzy.
  • Trying to envision and create someone else's vision. I'm learning how someone describes their vision, may not actually interpret into what they have in their head. Or their vision may be something totally different once they see it played out and want a totally new vision. Insert deep breath here.
  •  Being the coordinator for an event that is not your own is a new level of challenging. Bending over backwards until you swear you might break simply needs to happen. In the end, it's their event and I've never been one to handle someone's disappointment well. Anger is one thing, but when I think someone is disappointed, it cuts deep and I want to avoid it at all costs.
  • Asparagus pee. This has nothing to do with events, but we had asparagus for dinner last night and I'm giving it a low-five today due to it's after effects. Gross.
Alright, what can we plan next? Just kidding. Sort of.