Thursday, August 28, 2014

#1,716 Football Season is Here.

Every year, my birthday nearly coincides with the kickoff of college football which means a football party at my parents' with BBQ, red velvet, and my daddy happier than a little child on Christmas on morning. We missed Clark, Amanda and Walker—they stayed home since Amanda came down with a bug. And this year the fun was dulled a little by my cold and the resulting cold medicine which kept me in a little of a fog, but being surrounded by my family and our closest friends is just about the best you could ask for 2 days before you turn 29 years old.

Mama gave me a beautiful new lantern for our porch dinner table with an electric candle inside that looks real enough to burn you. So cool! Mallorie gave me a Linnea's Lights pumpkin candle, and Mrs. Melinda gave me a vintage sleeping gown. All excellent and thoughtful surprises when I certainly wasn't expecting to get anything at all.

Even better—it looks like our Rebs are going to pull out the win over Boise State. Hotty toddy.

Once again, you saved the day with your sweet comments and encouragements on yesterday's post. So thankful for every one of you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#1,715 Light Fills Up the Darkness.

I've been grappling with a tough situation at work. I got my feelings hurt pretty badly. For the first time in my short life, a client said things to me in an email that you only hear in an R rated movie... And that stings. A day like that makes you feel like you're not good at your job. And when you're self-employed like I am, that makes you feel like maybe you aren't worth very much in general. I hate that it feels that way—but I invented my little business, so when my work gets sucker punched, I feel it deep in my bones. Worse still, no matter my efforts to diffuse the situation, to apologize, to fix the problem the best way I knew how (even though the problem was out of my hands), I was left with my very first ever nasty review on the biggest wedding ratings site. I know these are growing pains. As your clientele expands, the greater the odds of one of them being unhappy. In a sea of awards and 5 star reviews, this is, of course the only review I can see in my mind's eye now.

This is proof positive that life isn't all sunshine and rainbows all the time here. See? I told you!

But then.

But then.

Oh a whim, I decided to contact past brides and ask if they might go and leave reviews of their own. I've never considered it an important part of my business, but now that it was on my mind—why not? I was ready for whatever criticism they might have, and was hoping to find some goodness that would smooth over this rough patch. 

I was completely overwhelmed by the kindness of my past clients, many of them passing acquaintances for the brief time we shared working on a creative endeavour of the heart, and the deeply personal messages they left for the world to see... They're a comfort to me in ways these good people can't fathom.

I feel rejuvenated by their kindness. And I feel a sense of urgency to compliment anyone I meet who is doing a good job. Affirmation is so powerful. You never know when a sincerely kind remark might change someone's day. 

It's like Ben said—if you think of something nice about someone, you should always say it to them. No matter what. Will you commit to doing that with me? Let's do it. Let's be creepy and kind and not even care if it's awkward.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

#1,714 Mae's 68th.

We've made it through another tough Mississippi August heat wave, and we woke up to the reward of a crisp, breezy morning on the porch.
Breakfast (bananas, biscuits, and sausage) lingered on until 9 am, then we headed out to work for the day. Today was a special one though because it's the 26th. Aunt Mae's birthday! My mama, Aunt Phyllis and Mae met up over at Lucky Luxe at 11 and we surprised her with gifts. They gave her a portable DVD player (since her TV at home is too old to hook up to one), along with some of her favorite old movies, A Summer Place and Mrs. Doubtfire—whom she has always reminded us of for the world. This used to offend her, but since Robin Williams' passing, now she's flattered by it. So. There's that.

My adorbale little mama led a tutorial on how to use a DVD player. Because this is high tech stuff.

They also gave her an Elvis edition of LIFE magazine—which might as well have been a million dollars. Have I told you lately how much I love Mae Mae?
We took her out for lunch at Cafe La Fleur, where we tried our best to make her stray from her usual outrageously healthy diet of just fruits, vegetables and grilled chicken. She almost ordered a cheeseburger, then wimped out and got chicken salad. But then she redeemed herself with a a huge slice of from scratch strawberry cake with whipped cream that was on the house from the cafe for her birthday.

And this is why living in a small town will win every single time, if you ask me.

Monday, August 25, 2014

#1,713 Skype 2 + Signage!

So this afternoon, we had another Skype interview with Jenna and Paul, the amazing and kind TV programming folks, that lasted 2 hours. 2 hours! It was just as much fun as the last one, even with killer head colds. We spent an inordinate amount of time doing Skype tests that looked like this:
It's blowing my mind every time we "visit" with video chat how the internet makes the world so very small. I mean, you're reading this—whoever and wherever you are, dear reader. Isn't that kind of amazing?

In other news, I designed brand new gold leaf window signage for the shop that came in this afternoon and Ben tediously spent a couple hours installing this evening. I nearly died it was so exciting to finally see the name of our little business on a sign. I've been doing this since 2008 and this is our very first actual signage! So thankful for the Laurel Main Street facade grant that's going to be paying for part of it along with some new paint and light fixtures soon. Woohoo!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

#1,712 Gospel Sunday + Learning.

Because this is happening in our house today, I'll be pretty brief.
It was gospel Sunday—always one of our favorite services of the year. There is hand clapping, men's quartets, Allison Kraus songs, and a pot luck dinner prepared by the best cooks in Mississippi.

After a long, long, long nap to try and recover a little energy from the sinus and sore throat monster, we went over to the studio so I could begin teaching Ben the processes of production, how to order plates and envelopes and all that tedious stuff that he will be taking over in November. And I felt so excited to be working together, even for a few hours. Twitterpated.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#1,711 Lucy's First Birthday.

Can you believe this was one year ago today?

Mallorie wanted to have a simple, sweet birthday for the tiny girl today and so she invited just family over for tiny foods, homemade strawberry cake, and letter writing for Lucy's time capsule that she'll open when she turns 18. I'll let the pictures tell the story.

You're going to need to go ahead and hit 'play' on this so you understand how today felt:

Side note: their house deserves a magazine.

 Fresh local honey for tiny chicken and waffles was... Exactly as delicious as you imagine.

 Walker came!

 Hey cuz.

 Handsome blue eyed boys, my brother and nephew:

Happy birthday, baby girl. We all love you more than you'll ever know.

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