Scenes from Everyday Life

As I was looking through old photos to fill the St. Patrick's Day frame I picked up on clearance last year--theme "Lucky in Love," I came across this old charmer and recalled the blog I had written with this image : "The Girl in the Dress," (blog entry here.)

To date, it is my most widely read/shared blog entry.

The photo had me glancing back to a time in my life where I was cautiously transitioning from solely a mommy of four little ones to a mom and wife with friends and interests and a little time to pursue each.

Scared me to death. But then, everyone faces challenges with something so simple--being one's self.

Especially today. When the world is watching through social media and beyond. When people are so openly judgmental. When a constant bombardment of media images show us so many variations of what we should be instead.

I constantly tell my girls to be brave, to be fearless, to trust in who they are. But I know despite my words, they will have their own journeys to make and their own challenges of finding and being themselves.

I hope that they will look at photos of themselves from some of those times and more current ones, and be able to see how amazing they truly are.



From Mayberry to I Love Lucy to Julia Child, check out all the associates have had this summer inSummer School. 


Bluegrass Princesses



I love a good fairy tale as much as the next person. But there is a formula for fairy tales that can be misleading for impressionable minds. The “happily ever after” factor.

Ever after… what?

Because what makes a story magic isn’t the happy conclusion. It’s the unique conflict the protagonist endures. Although the words “happily ever after” are probably programmed in our vocabulary before we can recite the alphabet, it is all of the chaos, strife, laughter, and tears that give it meaning.

Though there is not a well-coiffed villainess/villain or mythical beast to contend with, life does have its share of evil forces in different forms. All we can do is to keep fighting the good fight, teach our children to never give up, and not judge one another. For everyone is battling their own adversary and we cannot know each other’s struggles.

Better than marrying a prince of a fairy tale, I found a warrior. He’s moral, feisty, hilarious, fiercely protective, and does the dishes sometimes. He unquestionably believes in my dreams and gives me the strength to be both a warrior and a princess.

More romantic than gifts on an appointed day, my husband loves me at my worst even harder than at my best, because he knows I need it more then. He surprises me with books I mentioned I wanted to read at unexpected moments and plays football with our daughters so I can have some quiet time to paint. He is as handsome as he is stubborn, helpful, resilient, and there isn’t anyone on earth I would rather write my story with.

Our fairy tale has been tumultuous and beautiful. It has been impossible at times, unbelievably happy at others. We have been up all night with sick babies, barely able to form a sentence much less a romantic interlude. There have been times that we have really, really not liked each other and days we have laughed nonstop. We have gripped each other’s hands while awaiting the fate of our 3-day-old baby in surgery and we have watched that daughter play the lead in her school play at age 8. We have waited until the kids were asleep to break out the new sleds when an unexpected snowfall arrived and we have argued ourselves hoarse.

The story is in the struggle. The life, real life, so much better than the fairy tale. And when it concludes with “Happily Ever After,” I think ours will be a pretty awesome tale.


;) Julie