Archive | October, 2012

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

Confession:

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?

Continue Reading | comments

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.

Continue Reading | 115 comments

falling for the feather trend {november collection}

One of the best parts of my job {if you can even call it that!} is creating a new collection of printable paper goods for JDC | Monthly. Every month has something unique to celebrate and finding a way to make that stylish rather than obvious is a fun challenge for me.

This November, I took inspiration from the current feather trend {have you noticed? They’re everywhere!} which seems fitting for a cozy, warm, thanksgiving-y feel.

Because this is a big month of family gatherings and gratitude-giving, there are a few extras included to help with holiday table setting.

A note card to write what we’re thankful for.

And feathered place cards {which can also be used as gift tags}.

Our project for the month is this funky wreath

I kinda love it.

And the art print is one of my favorites.

That’s a good quote.

To download and print the items shown, you can join JDC | Monthly {your first month is free!} and you will also get all kinds of other goodies to keep you organized this month.

monthly calendar . weekly calendar . note cards . daily menu planner . grocery lists . chore charts . scripture cards . dinner menu . art print . large and small feathers

Members simply download each pdf, print on your favorite paper {see mine here} and fill in the details to keep your organized.

dotted-line

So, if you would like to be part of JDC | Monthly, of course we’d love to have you!

The subscription is $9.99 per month {first month is free} and is super easy to sign up for : just click the button below:

the details

Included each month:

monthly calendar . weekly calendar . chore charts . dinnertime chart . daily menu . grocery & shopping lists . note cards . mailing labels . scripture cards . an original art print {exclusively for JDC | monthly members} . tutorial with templates for the project shown

You will be sent a link to access all of the pdf files. Download and print, or save them to your computer for a rainy day.

JDC | monthly members will also receive 50% off all printables in the shop.

fine print

When you sign up you will be directed to the current month’s link immediately. Billing is done on a 30 day cycle {so if you join on the 15th, you will be billed the following month on the 15th}. On the 22nd of each month, you will receive an email with the link to download the collection of pdfs, as well as the project tutorial.

If you decide JDC | monthly is not for you, you are free to cancel at any time.

dotted-line

So, what do you say : want to try it out? Click below to sign up.

P.S. If you are already a member, your November link was emailed to you this morning. If you need any help please let me know.

Continue Reading | 19 comments

steppin’ up

When you live in a house with little ones, sometimes practical things {like step stools in the bathroom} are essential.

I was growing tired of seeing our perfectly-functional-but-equally-ugly plastic stool in the guest bath and so I was excited to find this wood version at IKEA. It actually is quite attractive in its bare form, but also pretty painted.

One afternoon, my No. 3 and I set to work painting the stool.

I’m not always excited about doing painting projects with my kids, but this actually taught me that 1. they are capable and 2. it can be fun.

After a coat of primer, we rolled on our paint. I used Sherwin Williams Rushing River, which is also the color used in Audrey’s nursery on her bed and shelves. One of my faves.

Two coats of paint and a few days to fully dry, and it now sits in our guest bath.

The perfect little perch for this cutie-pie.

Continue Reading | 33 comments

fashionABLE

While away this past weekend, I was introduced to a new company and instantly fell in love.

Helping women live with purpose and dignity simply by purchasing a beautifully crafted scarf? Yes, please.

I just adore companies like fashionABLE and Noonday that help us help others.

I bought myself a scarf and will wear it proudly.

But I couldn’t stop there …

I bought one for you, too.

One of the best things about these scarfs are the handwritten tags attached. This makes me feel like our money is not just going to an organization, but actually impacting individuals.

If you would like to win this saba scarf, here’s what to do:

* purchase a scarf from fashionABLE {click here}

* sign up for the fashionABLE newsletter

* like fashionABLE on facebook

I’ll choose a random winner and post on the jdc facebook page friday October 19th.

** This giveaway is now closed. But feel free to still check out the FashionABLE site! **

Continue Reading | 335 comments

oh, deer

There is something mysterious and gentle about a deer.

They are sweet, yet wild. Cautious, yet powerful.

We live in the country and see deer regularly. They are pests to gardens and wander dangerously close to the road late at night. And still, we slow down with each sighting and behold the beauty and grace of this wild creature.

Inspired by a book I’m reading {review coming if the novel turns out as good as I hope!}, here are a few pretty images and adorable fawn products found around the web.

{via}

{via}

{via}

{via}

{via}

{via}

{via}

{via}

{via}

{via}

Lovely, lovely little deer.

Continue Reading | 17 comments

on getting away, messiness and justin bieber

An update and random ramblings from my life these past two weeks via instagram …

1, 2 & 3. A few of us took a girl’s weekend to our friend’s beach house. Time away with just girlfriends, an unobstructed view of that perfect NW beach, trying octopus {weird}, and staying up way too late. It was perfect.

4. While on that restful weekend, I got strep. Again. Three times in three consecutive months.

5. So I bought myself some slippers. Retail therapy helps a little when it feels like you’re swallowing nails.

6. I love stripes. Truly I do.

7. My office threw up on me. Does that ever happen to you?

8 & 9. My sisters and I went to the Justin Bieber concert this week. Don’t judge. It was AMAZING.  My ears are still ringing from the out-of-control screaming by the thousands of purple-wearing pre-teen girls. I may have a small crush on him that grew after watching him perform live. I mean, not a real crush seeing as how I’m the age of his mother. But I just love him. My sisters and I didn’t stop smiling the whole show through. Is that creepy? I don’t know. It was fun, though.

And then there’s this:

While headed to the library for storytime, I was stuck on a country road behind a tractor full of pumpkins. I was actually on the phone with my best friend and told her I needed to hang up so I could take a photo. It was just too picturesque to miss.

Country-living at it’s finest.

Enjoy your weekend.

I’m off on another get-away – only this time across the country. More later …

Continue Reading | 13 comments