HGTV Home Town !!!!!!

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HOME. and TOWN. My favorite things.  So have you heard about HGTV’s new show HOME TOWN that will premiere this Sunday…it features Erin and Ben Napier of Laurel, Mississippi, they have become good friends with Magnolia/Fixer Upper and  my brother Jimmy Don and I have enjoyed learning more about them too! (You were right Peggy Kriel they are awesome) A lovelier couple does not exist. And I can. not. wait. to see their show.  I don’t even watch tv y’all (sorry JD i have caught some of your appearances i promise) but I am excited about this because its about roots, preservation, a small Southern town and old houses!  Oh and they make great things..Erin does letterpress and Ben is a craftsman..they are just so talented and cute and well awesome and I honestly don’t use that word lightly.  IN short I am impressed with their talent, character, and what they are doing, the total package.  She taught my brother to use the word letterpress y’all..she has brought our family together!  ha  Find out all about them here and see some behind the scenes in their town and set your DVR!!!!

And speaking of home and Waco, Magnolia and Jimmy Don… , the boys and Nana and I travelled up to Wacotown last weekend. I wanted my mom to get to see my brother’s wall of work in Magnolia.

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{Some of my fave things in Waco, this new shop THE FINDERY just near the Silos, I love the building at the Silos they have slotted for A BAKERY, Common Ground near campus of course, the Dr Pepper Museum, Baylor’s Mayborn Museum where my kids want to go EVERY TRIP and more}

And y’all, it was CROWDED and busy..not just inside the Magnolia shop but all around that area..people walking. A bustle. There hasn’t been much bustle around downtown Waco (except to scramble into a Ninfa’s parking spot) in a long time. It felt bright and safe and engaging. And the campus looks amazing. I admire the Gaines and others for all they are doing and pray it continues in all areas…truly exciting! After looking around old Wacotown we ventured to the old home place.  Literally.  My brother  recently acquired back part of our great grandparents original farm out in Crawford which is a short drive from Waco and the little town where we grew up and went to school in Valley Mills.  The land is literally minutes from where we went to church (which was the building were our Papa Ed went to school when he was little!)

Below my great grandparents Holmes’ windmill by JD’s new house, the boys exploring near a cave and in the river AND DID YOU KNOW, JD has silos by his shop too! Lol I couldn’t resist. I loved going to Crawford when I was a kid..just the road between our town ten minutes away and Crawford felt “happy” because it was the road to my Granny and Papa Ed, I loved going in the old grocery store Amsler’s there with her and looking in the window at the domino hall for my grandpa…little girls aren’t supposed to actually go inside domino halls you know that right?! I can hear the shuffle now! So special even President Bush has a place there!;;

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I love seeing my boys roam around where their great grandpa did when he was a boy on the Middle Bosque River! I can’t wait to see all that Jimmy Don does cleaning up and preserving this place and its history!

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{Drew and Henry on Uncle JD’s mule ready to find some dirt!}

Below them exploring around an old cave near the Middle Bosque. My attempt at Wacoan Mr Gildersleeve’s photo style..anyone know about him?? He was a hometown wonder in Waco once upon a time..you can see his photos at the Texas Collection on Baylor campus..they are amazing! I learned so much working in the Carroll building doing oral history and researching in the Texas Collection.  Love that place.

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Home and family and roots…It’s so important. I love you brother and I am rooting for the show Erin and Ben, y’all please please set your DVR this is a pilot so help with the buzz! It is on right at noon I believe, check listings..you may be still at church or getting lunch so SET THE DVR thingy! #HGTVHomeTown

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Freedom

This time last year we were in the process of closing and moving into my dream house… not extravagant or grand but classic and “us.”  I thought it would be a wonderful place for our family for many years.  A home we could grow and love in and live out life together.

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I was wrong.  We lived there less than a year. We sold it, moved, and divorced.

It has been a literal, holy (or unholy) mess. And yet the children and I have survived, even thrived. My pinterest Fourth of July dream was shattered (I just wanted to furl that flag out the top windows, Lord, just once) but my kids are healthy and happy, scarred but thriving because of amazing people in our lives and God’s provision.  We are all scarred, but standing. And I wanted to update y’all as I think about God’s faithfulness and yes freedom.  This road to freedom I hope my family is on . . . sounds weird maybe but hang with me.

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It’s a bit of cheesy cliche, so obviously easy for a Christian to make all of the literal correlations between freedom in Christ and the freedom that came with the Declaration of Independence.  Believe me I am a sap and history major and I love them all.  But NEVER  have they been more real to me than this year.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love all of the New England and East Coast flags and instagraming of flags flying on Nantucket I am showing here today.  These images are my fave.  Nothing like a flag inside and out. I mean I love me a flag and a white house and some babies in blue and white stripes.  YES! The shallow part of me mourns the little party and flag out front I dreamed of for the new old house.

But never ever before have I been more aware of the need for true freedom . . . And yes I am tempted to tag a little Martina McBride video on the end here.  Seriously, I am not even close to letting go and being totally free of all of my emotional and spiritual junk, much less any marriage issues.  But i know that i know that i know, that working through “junk” in our inner selves and our closest relationships all under the umbrella of Christ’s love and God’s wisdom is the only way to true freedom.  It’s not popular or cool to say but I know it. It’s what I believe.  And tough season has mae me believe that more than ever. The opposite of freedom is what?  fear and bondage.  And Christ came to set the captives free, His perfect love casts out ALL fear.   He gives us (me and you) a spirit of power and LOVE not fear.

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I’ve have been pretty damn scared this year at various times.  And as I sat in our therapist’s office and ugly cried on Thursday and heard him say “God wants you to face your worst fear” I knew He was right.  We have to face our fears.  For freedom.  There is just nothing better than being free is there??? Watch your kids when they dance and play freely? And we could go on and on about theology and what the means and looks like but the first step is bravery to step out and face fear.

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So this fourth of July I love my country and the brave men and their families that stood up against crazy all those years ago and still today.  Because King George was cray y’all and America isn’t perfect but we have a beautiful and TRUE story of bravery and righteousness and God’s hand.  We are a city on a hill, or we were.  I can’t fix my country but I can work on facing my own fears and doing the things God created me to do, in my family and in my work and my sphere of influence.

And yes, you read that right. We are divorced.  The kids and I moved to a neighboring town and are doing well.  God provided us an amazing home to lease and my mom is living with us until her little house is ready for her move in.  The kids are spending a lot of time with their dad and are having a fun and full summer. And their dad and I have started counseling.  Finally.  Yes we realize it’s usually best to start the counseling BEFORE the divorce.  We didn’t do it that way.  We did do some counseling but not really get in there and get committed and serious about it until now.  The timeline is was it is.  What matters is we are finally getting help both individually and together. So please pray. Pray for fruit in counseling, pray for the holy spirit to move and change hearts and minds where needed.  Pray for truth. Pray for my boys and our parents and friends that have been caught in this unholy mess.  And for yourself if possible I am praying. Please get thyself to counseling.  I beg you. And if you don’t like the counselor or its just so so, keep trying, keep praying God will connect you with the person that can get up in your business and tell you and get your number and help set your feet back on the right path.  I know counselors don’t replace scripture or godly guidance but good solid counseling can be a huge part of freedom. And restoration.

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{Top three images from House Beautiful and this one of vintage flags from countryliving.com}

So I just wanted to say that.  Happy Fourth of July.  Let freedom ring!

We had a fun day in nearby Chappell Hill!

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My boys never sit this close so I am loving these silly pictures from today.  It’s the little things y’all, just getting muffins made and a few baby flags up and being with friends. And then taking a nap while it storms…yes!

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So thank you y’all truly.  For hiring me, reading me and supporting what I do. For praying for my family.

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