Friday, June 19, 2015

Life Lately

If you've wondered why I've been on the quiet side lately, I'm about to show you. To say that I am beyond exhausted is an understatement. Simply Vintage has done two large markets in a month span and we're plum tired, y'all.

With every show that we do, the work that leads up to the event can become overwhelming quickly. There are late nights, early mornings, 14 days in a row spent in my "workshop", nights where I don't get to put my little man to bed because I'm covered in paint and dust, etc... AND the work doesn't start when the show prep starts. That's actually the tail end of the work. I give you exhibit A:


Seriously. No truer words. There is so much that goes into this hobby of mine and of so many. We hunt, buy, haul, clean (cobwebs come along with the territory), fix, refinish, haul again. And repeat. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I love this hobby, or at least I do on 90% of the days. Don't ask me that question on set-up day.

Our first show was The Pec Thing in Pecatonica, IL. This was my first time in the 20+ years of being a Pec Thing shopper that I was on the other side of the booth. It was so much work and sadly the weather just was not havin' it. We dealt with rain, ruined inventory, 2 inch deep mud, high winds that started pulling our staked tent out of the ground, etc... We finally waved the white flag and tore down 5 hours early on the second day. It just wasn't worth the risk of inventory loss or far worse, impaling someone with our tent should it turn into a kite. There were 9,800 shoppers who came through the gates on Saturday, but when the road your booth is on is 2 inches deep of mud, about 500 of the 9,800 shoppers brave your aisle. Just sad.

Mud and I were pretty much inseparable that weekend. Gross!

Our second show, and much more important show, was The Main Street Market hosted by the talented Urban FramGirl. Think 120+ vendors traveling in from all over the Midwest to create one of the prettiest, vintage shows I've seen. These people are the real deal and make me feel like a vintage chump. I still give it my all and try to hold my own, but I'm always in awe of everyone else's work.

With this being the 2nd annual Main Street Market and our 2nd time participating as well, I was thrilled with the results. We received so many compliments and for hours we were constantly ringing someone up. The traffic was great, the sales were steady and we met some really cool vendors who share our love of all things unloved, forgotten, dusty, rusty but full of promise. It's not for everyone, but if its for you, this event is your jam, I promise!

Here's a peek at Simply Vintage's booth...


 Phew, I'm tried just looking at everything again.
Thank God I have at least a month to prep for the next one!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Praying for Charleston

I am 1,000 miles away from my beloved city, but my heart, my heart is right there. Smack dab in the midst of the chaos. There is not one single mile between my head, my heart and Charleston and its amazing people. I may physically be in Illinois, but I stand with you today, Charleston. Since I heard the news last night, my mind has not left your side.

I will never understand why awful things happen in this world. I will never understand pure and unbridled hatred and anger. Today and last night make zero sense to my rational brain. How do you make sense of an irrational hatred? An irrational response to one's hatred? And the senseless and irrational act of pure evil inflicted on innocent people? You cannot.

As I sit here, surrounded by people who may not have even heard the news or may just view it as one more sad and shocking headline, it's nearly impossible to fight tears of sadness, fear, and despair. My heart is broken for the eleven people that were part of that bible study. Although nine of them were taken suddenly and violently, we cannot forget the two that remain. Their lives, minds and hearts will be forever changed. How could they not live in fear from this day forward? How can they not replay what they saw over and over again in their already grieving minds? And how can the families and friends of the nine find answers or peace in a situation where there will most likely never be any answers? It's beyond devastating.

Will you join me in praying for Charleston, our people, and the loved ones desperately missing their family members and friends today? Will you pray for the authorities who are working around the clock to find the man, Dylann, who brought such evil and suffering to our community? Will you keep them safe and energized in your minds? Will you pray that no one else is harmed as the shooter hides out and shirks away from the consequences of his horrific actions? Will you pray he is found so justice can be served and the terror can lessen? Finding him will never undo what he did, but it will stop the panic that people feel with him on the loose.

Will you pray that somehow, some way, peace will fall on Charleston? And that this act unites a community versus divides?

God is bigger than this and He is in the midst of this. He cannot undo what has been done, but He can be a refuge in the most tragic and darkest of times. He stands with you too, Charleston, and I know His heart hurts a million times more than ours combined. He is with you. You are not alone. Nor were the eleven  who were attacked. I pray He held them close in those moments.

I love you all and I am there with you in prayer, heart and mind. I am so, so sorry. No one deserves this. No one.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Surrendering Control

As you can probably tell by my lack of consistent posts lately, I've been struggling a little with what to write. Well today, as I perused my two favorite blogs, Katie of spoke right to my heart. And because just maybe she'll also speak right to your's, I thought I'd share her words. They are wise, honest and needed.

Do you ever feel like you're floundering? Or stuck? Or both? Well, that's been the name of my game lately and I'm about to wave the white flag. It is 100% apparent that I have zero control over certain areas of my life, so trying to control them is like herding cats. Pointless, I tell you, and the energy it requires can be all consuming.

But, God, HE is always in control. He knows the outcome of every situation before it's even a blip on my radar. He knows how everything will play out and pan out. He knows the triumphs and victories that may lay around the corner, and He always knows what heartache lay beyond the horizon as well. The good news is that He is prepared for both. Prepared to redeem, prepared to restore and prepared to redirect when needed. He's prepared. I am not. BUT, I AM with Him. If I simply surrender.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

When I Grow Up

Today I'm linking up with Andrea over at as we share what we wanted to be when we grew up. Wait, I have to grow up? Says who?

A Garbage Man (or Lady)

From an early age, I was a slacker knew that I wanted to have a career but I didn't want to have to work five days a week with only two days to do whatever I wanted. Seeing as how our garbage man only came by our house on Mondays, I declared to my family and first grad class that I was going to be a garbage man when I grew up. Only work on Mondays? Done and done.

A Veterinarian
It's no secret that I love animals, sometimes even more than I love some people. So it only made sense to be a Vet when I grew up. And with my great uncle owning his own veterinary hospital, I thought everything was meant to be. That was until he let me observe a hysterectomy on a sweet, little pup. And that friends, is how you squash a dream. I knew in that moment that my passion was to love on animals, not to cut them open or have to tell their owners that it was time to let them go. Onward and upward!
A Marine Biologist
Around eight grade on into about my tenth grade year, I thought for sure I wanted to a marine biologist. I'd buy orca whale VHS tapes and t-shirts from Natural Wonders and just loved all that the ocean had to offer. Fast forward to a vacation where I was swarmed by a school of stingrays on Folly Beach, SC. Umm, no thanks. I spent the next 7 years only going about knee deep in the ocean due to crippling fear of what lay beneath. And I'm no marine biologist, BUT I do believe that one must be willing to get in the ocean to be able to study said ocean. Sigh.

Disney on Ice Skater and Coach
After being a competitive figure skater for fifteen years, I knew in my heart that I wanted to tour with Disney on Ice after graduation high school, and then spend my adult life as a skating coach. After audtioning for Disney and receiving word that I had been accepted, my parents told me that I had to attend college first and then I could tour. I'm pleased to report  that I did in fact graduate from college (proof in the photo below). I'm saddened to report I never did tour, BUT I did try my hand at coaching. I loved it, but it didn't pay the bills. Next, please.

With a a B.S. degree in Health Promotion and Corporate Wellness, what does one do? Well duh, you go into fundraising for a military college. And just like that, I found myself in the non-profit world and have been there for over 15 years. I love what I do and I love knowing that my efforts help make education affordable for students regardless of income or circumstance. And I've been blessed to work with awesome students and cadets over the past 15 years who have made fundraising a fun career and not just a job. (Halloween staff photo with my cadets below)

I also had the privilege of being a college cheerleading coach for The Citadel for seven years in the 2000's, alongside of two of my BFF's.

And now I have the best job in the world, on top of still being a Director of Development for a college...

I get to be a...
Mom to Nash
Wife to Tim

Somehow I landed these sweet gigs regardless of previous experience or qualifications. They both gave me a shot at the job and I spend every day trying to be a better wife and mom than I was the day before. Sometimes I nail it. Sometimes I fail miserably, but I have yet to be fired. Thankfully. I love this job the most. 

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Life Lately

It's taken me awhile to feel like writing again, but just like everything else in life, "this too shall pass" and I'm starting to feel like "me" again. Granted, nothing from the last two weeks has taken away the emptiness felt in our home feels and in my heart, but we're falling into our new normal thankfully. It's been gorgeous here, amidst the occasional rain shower, and there's been some amazing breezes rolling in off of the water. Every once in awhile, a big, warm gust will roll through the house from outside and it's comforting to think just maybe that's a piece of my little Piggy coming in from his spot outside to remind us of him. It makes me want to always have the windows open. Always.

My life in photos lately...
Every Memorial Day we head to my Grandma Howard's home in the small town of Pecatonica for the parade. It's a great time to reflect on those who have given the ultimate sacrifice
and to spend an afternoon with family.
Isn't my Grandma's home too cute? Sometime I'll have to share photos of the inside.
This home has been in our family for decades and decades and she has done so much work to turn it into the coziest, little cottage.

Welcome to historic Pecatonica.
Ready for his first parade! Game face on. Paci in.

"Hey, who threw this little dude a green Twizzler?" Tim and I LOVE parade candy, so having a child with us allowed us to catch a little more candy from the floats without being judged by the other parade go'ers. We joked that we'll have "parade drills" for Nash in about 2 years where we'll practice tossing out things in the backyard so he can become a parade ninja with cat-like reflexes. If the candy even hits the pavement, you're too slow, Munchie. Some women are the dreaded dance moms or bleacher moms, I'm going to be a parade mom. There's no mercy in this dojo.

This kids is his mother's son 100%. I'm the happiest when my feet are free of socks and shoes, and the same goes for Nash. His toes love freedom, so as temps rose, I "freed the piggies" so he could feel the breeze on his feet. He immediately flung that foot up onto his tray and there it stayed for the rest of the parade.

And that Jeep climbing the other Jeep, folks, is compliments of one of my relatives. My 2nd cousin's wife is driving the Jeep with the tire on the roof. It's safe to say she's hardcore. 

Yep, friends, that's me. And a Chicago Bear. It was a great day at the office for sure. Who else brings in Jon Bostic for students to meet as they register for fall classes?! The best part was seeing how incredibly nice he was. He had the best smile and could not have been more personable and down to earth. I foresee a #57 jersey in Nash's future.

River Life is like living on vacation.
Okay, so maybe it doesn't feel like vacation ALL the time, but it sure does look like it ALL the time!

Oh how I heart my geese neighbors. We now have about 4 families of gooslings and I'm so in love with watching them as the swim, eat, rest, etc...

So, umm, yeah. All of this came out of my garage last weekend. And this isn't even half of what's in there. I'm afraid that I'm walking a very fine line between vintage collector/resale'r and hoarder.
Let's pray a TON of this sells in my show on June 13th!

This guy. He's the bee's knees.

Grocery shopping is so much more fun with my own personal carrot concierge. He was so good and loved looking at everything. And everyone. Again, this guy...

I hope y'all have a great week!