Archive | October, 2012

a confession I’d rather not confess – but I will anyway


I have never voted in a presidential election.

There. I said it.

Now before you get all judgy on me, continue on.

This is not a proud piece of information to share. I’m actually quite embarrassed and ashamed. While I’ve been eligible to vote for the past four elections, I have not.

First, let me tell you why.

1. I find politics to be over-my-head. I’m sure if I put any amount of time into researching policies, watching the news, visiting political websites and reading current event publications, I would feel differently {or would I?!}. Instead, I spend my time researching recipes, watching Disney Jr., visiting design websites and reading novels.  Politics are just not part of my daily routine and for the most part, I don’t wish they were.

2. I find politicians hard to trust. I don’t know, maybe it’s all those terrible attack ads or maybe the fact that we all talk much bigger than we can walk, but politicians don’t come off as genuine and they rarely seem to keep their promises. Which makes it hard to really get behind anyone.

3. Since I don’t have a whole lot of information to go off of, and I don’t particularly feel strongly for any one candidate, I figure I should leave the voting up to the more-informed.

{I can hear all of you political-types groaning at your screen right now. Especially my cousin. And my husband.}

And so, for the past four elections, I have. I’ve left the voting up to the more-informed.

This time around I’ve felt convicted. Very convicted.

How dare I take this freedom for granted?

How many women, both before our time and throughout the modern world, would give anything for the opportunity to vote?

Yet here I am, tossing my ballot into the recycle bin because I don’t take this seriously. I don’t think my vote counts. I don’t care.

That’s not right and I know better.

Several weeks ago I shared these thoughts with some girlfriends, who surprisingly did not throw rocks at me, but instead shared similar sentiments. All are my age {30′s} with similar demographics {married/children/home owners/college graduates} and each of us do not value our voting privileges – or so it would seem because very few had actually voted in any of the previous four elections.

Which got me thinking … how many of you are in the same boat?

How many women out there {smart, capable women} do not vote each election because we feel uninformed and therefore like our vote is useless?

I may be completely off-base, but I’m guessing quite a few. Our lives are full, our passions lie outside the political arena, we make choices to read Real Simple over The Economist and watch Dancing with the Stars over the Presidential Debate. It all sounds like chatter that our ears and minds can’t comprehend anyway, so we tune out. “Let the more informed make the decisions”, we say. And if not outright, we say it by our actions.

But we should not and we can not.

We have to vote.

Even though it’s over-our-heads.

Even though the candidates have flaws.

Even though our one vote may not make the difference in the outcome, collectively our votes do matter.

We really have to vote.

So here I am, confessing to you that I’ve taken this voting privilege for granted all my life. I am one of those {almost a quarter of the American population, by the way} who deliberately choose not to vote.

But this election is different. I’m growing up, being responsible, taking the freedom I have seriously and voting.

Won’t you join me?

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greatest is love print … back in stock {limited supply}

Remember this lovely print Lindsay created for us?

It’s a favorite of mine, for certain, and always sells out quickly in the shop.

The print was hand-calligraphy-ed by the darling Lindsay and then foil stamped onto card stock.

With whimsical lettering, a subtle heart shape and handsome coloring, it is the perfect gift for the upcoming holiday season, weddings, anniversaries or to simply remind you of what is most important in life.

This pretty artwork comes in gold foil on white:

and gold foil on slate.

The print is 8.5 x 11 and will fit into a frame with an 8 x 10 opening.

. . .

We have a limited supply of both colors – it is the last shipment we will get before Christmas – so grab one while they are available.  If you no longer see the print in the shop, it means it has sold out. I’m so sorry!

As a special bonus, when you purchase a greatest is love print on or before Wednesday 10/31, you will automatically be entered to win a $50 gift card to Starbucks.

Because eggnog latte season begins on 11/1. And that’s something to celebrate.

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beating a dead horse

That’s a terrible title {where did the horrible saying even come from?}.

But what I have to share today qualifies: it’s been said before. Over and over.

And yet, maybe we all need to hear it again.

// It’s not as pretty as it seems //

Take our kitchen, for instance.

I posted this photo on instagram with this caption:

“it only took four years to muster up the motivation to finish painting the kitchen”

A few minutes after posting, my friend Emily commented, “looks great!”.

Funny thing was, we had not painted it yet. We were just removing everything so that we could paint.

From a distance – from the outside – it looks pretty good.

Up close, you see this:

You would never notice the unfinished state that our kitchen has lived in these past several years by looking at photos on the blog. We do a good job of staging and photoshop-ing to get it looking just so.

But the truth is, it’s not as pretty as it seems.

. . .

Then there’s this:

I mentioned to my friend that I saw photos of her brother and sister-in-law and their new baby and their cute life and they looked so happy and is their marriage back on track?

No, she said. Their marriage isn’t great. They are struggling with this new baby. Not a lot of happiness.

I know better than to assume life is as good as it looks in photos.

And, yet, I still made big assumptions based on a few momentary snapshots.

. . .

The other day, my sister’s friend asked her if I was for real. Like, does my bathroom really look like that? Where’s the little scraps of toilet paper and dirty towels and overflowing trash can?

Well, goodness. Of course the bathroom is a mess. Our entire house is a mess.  I just pick it up before snapping photos.

We have a household full of messy people. Why there must be a light saber dropped in the middle of the floor of every single room, I can not explain. And the random socks – don’t get me started.

I do this for a living – staging and photographing, blogging about project successes and lovely things. I put on a good face and do my best to be honest, but don’t be fooled:

It’s not as pretty as it seems.

I don’t say this to be all downer on you. And like I said way up there, it’s been said many times before.

But I just wanted to remind you, remind me, that there is more to life than appearances.

Staged living rooms are good. Instagram photos of your trip to the pumpkin patch are darling.

Don’t stop enjoying the beauty of life and sharing it with others.  There is much to be grateful for and your highlights might just be the inspiration someone needs to find joy this day.

But also remember that under the happy faces and styled spaces lives a messy person. Someone who is flawed and struggles and tries her best to cover it all up with appearances. Rather than fall into that trap, let’s start being honest with each other.

If you write a blog, you don’t have to air it all out publicly. If you’re updating Facebook, there’s no need to give the gritty details of the battle you just fought with your toddler.  Or your husband. The general public doesn’t need to know your innermost struggles.

But your people do. You know, the ones you trust. The ones you can talk to and be open with.

Let’s not walk around pretending to be pretty and making assumptions about other people’s pretty lives.

Instead, let’s give grace and accept one another – however messy we are.

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians 4:2

Poor horse. No more beating – time to bury this one.

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