Archive | thoughts

me, in bullet points.


When I write a post, I feel like I’m writing to friends. I’ve been doing this for five years now and while things have changed and grown in ways I never could have imagined, it still feels small and personal and like we’re sitting across from each other sipping coffee.  I hope you feel like that, too.

One thing I forget, though, is that many of you are new-ish here. I assume you know me and our family and what this blog is about when maybe you just got here after clicking on a photo on pinterest (welcome!).  So I thought I’d take a few minutes on this first post of the new year to properly introduce myself to you. My life in bullet points, if you will.

* My name is Emily. Maiden name is Jones. Married name starts with an L (hence my out-of-control wall of L’s).

* I’m the middle of three girls. My sisters are the best. You would love them both.

* I was a ballerina all my childhood and secretly wish I could still dance. I don’t have the right feet for ballet, but my posture remains pretty good.

* I went to college at Azusa Pacific University (a christian college in southern California) where I met my future-husband, Ryan, also from the Seattle area who was looking for the sun for a few years. We moved back home after graduating and while there are many things about Seattle that we love, we look at each other every March and start searching for houses in sunny cities.

* My degree is in Child & Family psychology. I thought maybe I’d like to be a family therapist or an elementary school teacher. I do neither professionally, but find I still love talking deeply about marriage/family/relationships and being in my kids’ elementary school classrooms teaching art.

* My mom’s parents were part of the Seattle theater culture in the 50′s and 60′s. My grandfather was an actor, musician and set designer; my grandma was a dancer and actress and made pie crust perfectly. I’m pretty sure my artistic side came straight from them. I’m still working on the pie crust thing.

* When my friends started getting married and having babies, I designed their stationery which turned into a business: Jones Design Company. I made wedding invitations, baby announcements and one million Christmas cards for 10 years before ending this aspect of the company in 2012.

* I cried really hard when we found out our No.3 was another boy. I mean, that sounds terrible and I was so embarrassed that my reaction was tears, but it’s what happened. By No.4 I felt prepared to have four boys. It actually kinda made me excited. Then she was a girl. Of course I can’t imagine having any other combination of kids. I really love having three men and a little lady (remember that movie?! Classic).

* I started blogging right before Audrey was born because women do crazy things when they are super pregnant and caring for three boys under age 5 at home. I had no idea it would turn into a passion and community and full time business and I couldn’t be happier about all of it. I needed a creative outlet and our family needed extra income and so it was the perfect fit.

* Ryan doesn’t show up on the blog or instagram much, but he is as much a part of Jones Design Company as I am. He’s the tech guy and marketing strategist; I’m the creative and make things look pretty.

* I wear jeans pretty much every day. Just wanted you to know that.

* And I wear fake eyelashes (lash extensions, to be exact).

* One of my greatest joys is inspiring women to create. Whether through hosting a craft night or posting doable projects or sharing home decorating ideas or teaching creative classes, I just love being part of it. More of that to come …

So that’s me. Well, there’s more, of course, but that’s a pretty good summary. I’m so thankful for you and look forward to a year full of inspiration, honesty, friendship and encouragement.


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when the holidays magnify heartache

This is a re-post from last year – it just felt like the right post to share again today. I adore this time of year as much as the next person, but it never fails that the joy and twinkling lights and peppermint candies are always accompanied by some type of undeniable pain and sadness and loss. If you find yourself not quite in the holiday spirit today, may this post be an encouragement to you …


I’m a dreamer.

Not in the sense that I’m a visionary with lofty ideas or plans. I’m not that type.

I’m literally a dreamer. I wake nearly every morning having dreamt the night before and can usually remember large portions of these dreams. Sometimes they are off-the-wall, make-no-sense types of dreams. Other times, I wake with a deep impression, a clarity, a sense that my dream was not just a dream.

Sunday morning, was one of those moments.

I’ll spare you the details, but the gist was that I quickly delivered a baby boy and he only lived for a few short minutes.

I woke with a broken heart.

I am not pregnant, we are not trying for another baby, it’s not a story I recently read or watched or had a conversation about. There is no logical reason why my sleeping brain would dream about this. Someone told me once that when interpreting dreams, pay less attention to the details and focus on the emotions instead. So I woke, thought about my dream and was compelled to pray.

This time of year is about joy and cheer and merry and bright. There is so much to celebrate, so many delicious smells and cherished traditions, festive parties and happy moments. It is the most wonderful time of the year.

But the holidays also magnify heartache.

The loss of loved ones. Broken marriages. Sickness. Financial struggles. Unexpected hardships. Unrealized dreams. Fears coming true.

These things happen all year long, but it sure seems they pile up during the holidays. Heaps of sadness, heartbreak, struggle, loss come pouring down during this time of year when we should be singing merrily.

I don’t mean to be a downer. I just know there is a lot of pain underneath our glittery sequins – sometimes hidden masterfully, other times oozing out in the least expected moments.

You are not alone.


As I lay in bed on sunday morning, I prayed. I prayed for the mothers who have lost babies. I prayed for the families who are fractured, for those with scary diagnoses, for the heartache and brokenness we all feel. Will you join with me in praying? For relationships healed and bodies made well, for jobs found and hope restored. But most of all, for an unexplainable peace to cover and comfort in the face of trial.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

You are welcome to download and print this quick scripture reminder I made for myself. Share it with a friend who needs hope today or keep it for yourself as a reminder of His loving gift of grace and peace in the midst of ugly circumstances.

grace-and-peace-print (click image to download)


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coffee chat thanksgiving edition

Hello my friends! Just wanted to pop in real quick to say hi and Happy Thanksgiving and whew … are you ready for the holiday wonderfulness to begin?!!


We are hosting Thanksgiving at our house so it’s a mad dash to get the furniture put back, pictures hung on the walls, accessories thoroughly dusted and rearranged, table set and groceries bought after our mini-remodel.


The floors look amazing (minus the big dent we made while moving the piano. oops), the white walls feel so fresh and the baseboard trim went up earlier this week and once it is calked and painted, it will totally finish off the spaces. It was a lot of work, a lot of money and a lot of dust and chaos for these past few weeks, but we’re so happy with the results.


I’ll show real after photos once we’re done. Hopefully next week.


Here’s a fun fact: Ryan and I slept this past saturday until 10:30. TEN THIRTY!


As I shared on instagram, it was glorious.  The kids are now at the age where they can wake up and grab a bowl of cereal and draw or play a board game (blokus is their current favorite) or watch a show without needing us.


Speaking of shows, the reason Ryan and I slept so long is because we couldn’t stop watching episode after episode of our favorite show: Newsroom. We stayed up way too late for three nights in a row and plowed through all of season 2. That show is so good. Quick witted, great acting, likeable characters, super interesting plot. A definite recommendation if you’re looking for a reason to stay up way too late and an excuse to sleep in.


Still finalizing your Thanksgiving menu? I promise you’ll want to add this recipe: Sweet Poatoe Puree with Brown Sugar & Sherry. It’s devine.


Our annual BIG thanksgiving weekend sale is coming again starting Friday! I think you’ll love the new christmas-y prints and it’s a great opportunity to grab a bunch of gifts for cheap, cheap, cheap. Details to come …


Alright, I better get back to readying our house. I hope you have a lovely holiday and many chances to count your blessings.


Happy Thanksgiving!

(all images from my instagram feed. Follow along here)

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chosen (thoughts + free art prints)


My parents divorced when I was 20.

I know they say that adult children deal with divorce better than younger ones – and that probably is true to a point – but it sure doesn’t feel good or easy or right even when you’re grown and out of the house.

Let me back up for a second …

My childhood was just about as good as I could have ever asked for. I am the middle of three girls, our parents were young and fun, we lived in family-friendly neighborhoods with good schools and activities nearby. We grew up close to our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins spending a lot of time with them for holidays, sleepovers, every chance we could. We had traditions and memories, vacations and love. Truly, I could not have asked for a better childhood.

Which I think is what made the break-up of our family even more difficult to deal with.

A handful of factors led to that devastating moment when my dad made the choice to leave us.  It never made sense to me – maybe it still doesn’t – how a man who adored his family and did everything he could to protect and provide for us could make the choice to walk away. I don’t think he knew what the true consequences were going to be. Maybe if he did, he would have chosen differently. I’d like to think so.

It still stings all these years later. I’ve healed a ton, but gosh my heart is still fragile. I miss him and feel sad and let down and even though I know their divorce was not my fault, I still can’t get over the feeling that maybe we just weren’t worth enough for him to choose us.

I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I guess I’ve just been struggling with some of the long-lasting issues that come with feeling not-chosen and it seems like something I should confess. Maybe you feel rejection in your life, too? Continue Reading →

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coffee chat no. 18

Every once in a while I just have all these random things to say and nowhere to fit them in, so they get all smushed together in a post series I like to call coffee chats.


Pretend we’re sitting across from each other (or standing on a soccer field) sipping our drinks (decaf, tall, extra hot, one pump mocha for me, please) and enjoying a few moments to just catch up and talk about all the things floating around in our minds.

Here are a few things I might chat about: Continue Reading →

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