The Holidays at home

Holiday at home or “holidays at home”…that phrase can have so many meanings…it was the name of a gorgeous class I did recently with the amazing Keith Taylor, downtown Brenham and the Barnhill Center and Jennifer Hermann of Hermann Furniture. We talked about beauty and creating the literal atmosphere and backdrop for our families and friends and our holiday stories and gatherings. And that phrase has been so heavy in my heart and mind for so much of this season. Beautiful ribbon and bows and then life happens. But that is how living and life plays out. It is what makes it rich and beautiful but complicated and sorrowful too. And so I can’t believe it is nearly New Years, like literally in hours really.  Where has 2017 gone?? It has been a blur for sure. So many big and beautiful work projects and events and personal milestones and changes as well. So much to post but life must be lived right?! So a short recap of the couple of months.

Image by Natalie Lacy Lange

I’ve been eager to share this and more images from the Holiday at Home class held in Nov with Downtown Brenham at the historic Simon Theatre, but I have been on a bit of a social media and internet hiatus. I will post more of those images in my next post.  

But first I want to share, my brother Jimmy Don and I lost our dad rather suddenly right after Thanksgiving.  We did not have an easy relationship with our Dad but he was our Daddy and we loved him and we knew he loved us and our children. This image below of one of Jimmy Don’s signs sums up a lot of how I have been feeling about the loss.  I know this Whitman poem is about a romantic relationship but I think it can apply to any type of love.  It also reminds me of a Pat Conroy quote about parents and hurt and love. 

We loved you Daddy.

We know you loved us.

I forget the rest.

I could go on and on about good times and tough times and complicated grief and heartaches and regrets…but I am just going to leave it at that.  Love. I forget the rest. It is really saying “I forgive the rest” and I hope you do too but it really is also how our hearts and minds remember isn’t it?…everything becomes a blur but the true love we felt for one another hopefully remains. Memories and feelings and stories are an interesting and complex thing but love can be very simple.  It’s taken me weeks to be able to say that and feel that even but I am grateful to be in this place finally.  The season of Advent and the hope of this season certainly makes this process richer and easier to navigate and find peace. In fact it is the only thing that makes it possible at all.

So between that and the emotions of the holidays and helping clients wrap up before Christmas, I have just not been online much.   But finally, before the year’s end I have to share images from the class so watch your inbox for the next post!  Because where there is Love there is often Beauty. and Creativity.  And those things bring joy.

We create beauty at Christmas because we love our families and we want to honor and celebrate the birth of our Savior.  It is a simple and beautiful thing and this week between Christmas and the New Year is so sacred and I hope it has been restful and peaceful for you and your family.

#forgettherest

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

 

Beholden

SO much to be grateful for… before I move on to sharing more about the Holiday class (which was amazing and I plan to share sources), and various shop/buy local opportunities, discount codes etc,  I just want to post first about gratefulness.

source

This has been a hard year for many in the Houston area and frankly the entire country and around the world.  It seems like the world is just going crazy.  My babies called me last night from their grandparents’ home to tell me a criminal was on the loose and an officer had been shot. (He was captured but not before he fatally shoot a Texas DPS officer, please pray for that family, so awful) The way my boys talked, being “brave” almost like it was just normal stuff made me so sad.  My heart broke not just for the downed officer and his family but also for my boys who are growing up in this new “normalcy” of violence and daily tragedy in this country.  I know this isn’t a political blog and you don’t come here for social commentary.  But its been rough.  Home, family and safety feel more precious to us than ever. I could go on and on about Hurricane victims and dusty empty homes where there was no turkey and no football this thanksgiving…just shells of former homes.  But rebuilding is going on and people are huddled together.  And I am BEHOLDEN to those stories, our Maker, our HOMES and good friends.  



Erin and Ben Napier say gratefulness and being Beholden is their secret sauce.  And I think they are on to something…it can be everyone’s secret sauce.  No matter the circumstance just like 1 These says! It’s not always easy or fun but it is good and right and God sees it.  Our little people see it.  And others feel it.

I am grateful to be a part of Ben & Erin’s BEHOLDEN issue of Good Grit Magazine….Good Grit has an awesome mission to celebrate all of the good and positive things of the New South..the makers and people and places that make up this special region. Thank you FrenchBlue Photography for taking images of my new home and Buff Strickland for sharing images from the homes of the O’Donnells and Bethel families.  

Photos in article, above: portion of photo of Bethel home in Houston, me shown in our new living room with same old toile pillows! 

FrenchBlue photography shots of our new kitchen and front door!

I will blog again soon about which specific images are which home and what one particular living room looked like during and after the flood…  If I can get to the place where I can stomach to post those images.  The homeowner has given me permission and FrenchBlue took some eerily beautiful photos. For now, know this. I am grateful for you my readers and clients.  For colleagues and work opportunities and patience and kindness from each of you as I have navigated my new normal.  In some ways the 3rd year of divorce has been the worse..still trying to get sea legs for sure.  

God is faithful.  and I am BEHOLDEN.

Now let’s prepare our hearts for advent and the birth of King!

Note: There is still so much need in Houston as the holidays approach, click here to be a part of Becki Griffin‘s Gift Card movement to get immediate help in the hands of families with needs!  There are so many ways to give but this is one way she has found that truly works.

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