5 Things to Be Thankful For: Milestones & Letting Go

Sorry I've dropped off St. Bloggersville for the past couple of weeks! (Sorry, can't bring myself to say 'blogoshpere.' But my word's probably worse. Yeah, definitely worse.) I've been busy with my day job as a marketer, my crazy personal life, and TONS of fun New Eve-related biznass. God's been throwing me some crazy circumstances, and He's been so kind! Here's a snapshot of what I've loved lately:

1. Sarah's Wedding. I got to attend the beautiful wedding of my friend & co-worker, who also gave me the honor of creating her bridesmaids' necklaces. I sewed vintage silk into ribbons, made vintage lace rosettes, topped them off with vintage gold buttons, and added rows of sparkling glass beads.

The wedding was really touching. The bride & groom washed each other's feet as a symbol of how Jesus humbly serves people & how they in turn commit to serve each other. I'm tearing up just writing this. Beautiful. This photo is of the daddy-daughter dance. All the daughters joined in!
(Photo courtesy of the father of the bride.)

2. Jennifer's Win! A couple of months ago, Moorea Seal held a giveaway of our Bullet Shell & Quartz Necklace, and adorable food blogger Jennifer won it! She recently posted the cutest photo of herself wearing it on a date with her man. Jen, you are a woman after my own heart with your black tee & vintage-inspired florals. Your pixie cut is perfect - you're tempting me to chop my hair off too! (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Lake)

3. Market Square Farmer's Market. My first market was this past Saturday, and it was positively lovely. Friends visited, the weather was perfect, I exceeded my sales goal, and I met some beautiful people. I really felt like I was in my element, talking to awesome people about awesome stuff that I really believe in. Expect a longer post about the Market soon! I have tons to say about it (in true form).

4. My new running shoes. Behold, my boring, perfect shoes! It was one of my New Year's Resolutions to get healthy again and I have loved (well, sometimes hated) getting back into running. My sneaks were literally 8 years old, though. I had shin splints and achy knees that were only going to get worse, so I shelled out the bucks for new shoes. I basically bought the newer, cheaper version of what I used to wear in high school, nothing special. But I'm telling you, my feet stepped into these shoes and they knew they were home. I am so pumped to frolic back into healthiness in my new shoes.

5. Letting go. My house was a wreck for one whole month. The basement flooded, we had a new backsplash put up, family visited twice, the hubby left for a weekend to visit his friend in Texas, we both left for a weekend to see an awesome Braves game with our friends (more on that later), I worked a second (third?) job at a local Christian boutique (more on that later too), and - oh yeah - I prepped for my first Farmer's Market season ever. SO... I had to let go of some of my pet peeves.

I let the kitchen stay covered in glass tiles while we left & ate burritos. I let two weeks of laundry pile up while we washed every towel in the house, because we used them to dry up the flood. I set aside Market planning for one night to worship with friends and feed my soul. I wore my PJ shirt to work (and accidentally let it slip to my coworkers - whoops!).

Okay, so that last one was a little grungy of me, less of a spiritual decision. (You've done it too, don't lie!) The point is, letting these things go allowed more freedom in my heart, mind, & body to focus on what really matters to me: My family, my soul, my God, my friends, & my work. I keep reminding myself that, on my deathbed, I won't regret not having a clean house. I'd regret not loving others better, worshipping more truly, and working earnestly for something I believe in. So that's what I chose.

Well, that may have been my wordiest post ever. But, as I always say when I talk a lot or say something odd, I meant it. Better go now; I just realized I promised you three more posts over the course of this one. LOVE!

5 Things Thursday on Saturday: Frozen Greek Yogurt, Gretchen Jones, & Knoxville's Dogwood Arts Festival

1. Sentimental custom orders. It shouldn't give you joy to make people cry, but it totally did for me! Heather asked for a piece that honored her kids & wanted something different and funky. A few months ago she gave me a bag of her grandmother's old jewelry to use, full of beautiful lonely mismatched earrings. I snuck one of her grandmother's earrings into the design, and she LOVED it! Melted my heart.

2. Greek frozen yogurt from the store. What? Can I be thankful for food? Shouldn't you say "peace and unicorns" or something? Yes I can, so sayeth Francis Chan in this YouTube video. Now excuse me while I go gorge myself.

3. Local raw honey. It's supposed to help with allergies, but I confess: I'm totally using pollen as an excuse to drink tea every night with this decadent nectar in it. Ohhh I can taste it even now...

4. Gretchen Jones. Her designs are amazing, and her morals are too. She's a sustainable designer, using fabrics & business practices that are human- and eco-conscious. I watched this speech she gave on her roots, her story of success, and where she's planning on going and it inspired me to be true to who I am & take an unconventional path. I think God is telling me not to worry about things so much, that some things (like financial success, soul peace, and babies) will come in time if they're meant to be.

5. Spring festivals. Knoxville's Dogwood Arts Festival last weekend was a freaking blast! I was able to go and browse the awesome artists' booths, and I even bought something! Which I rarely get the chance to do, being a normal human with a normal human income. It made me super pumped to show in the same space this summer, at the Market Square Farmer's Market! Knoxvillians, meet me there!


PS If you loved Heather's custom necklace and want you own one-of-a-kind piece, holla at me at newevejewelry[at]gmail.com and I'll give you the hook ups!

5 Things: New Life & Hard Grace

I've been taking a minute to write down a few things I'm thankful for every day. It helps me remember how beautiful, kind, and powerful God is. It never fails to encourage me, even just a little bit.

1. New Life: I went for a run today (I know, right?) and came back to find the tiniest crocus peeking out from under a tree in my yard. It was so delicate and beautiful; just what I needed on this gloomy day. I'm so ready for spring!

2. Hard Grace: Our car got towed the other day, and the hubs & I were so angry! It cost a fortune as well. The experience kind of revealed to me how entitled I think I am, and it gave us a chance to ask God for the grace to trust him for the money. What do you know? We found the money, and a smidge of peace to boot.

3. Sweatpants: In the past, I never really appreciated the gift of frumpiness because I love dressing spiffy for every occasion. It's a form of art, of self-expression, right? These days, the self I need to express is sometimes really tired. So she wears sweatpants.

4. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: I've been in love with this modern video blog version of Pride & Prejudice since a few weeks after it began about a year ago. They're now super famous because the entire team is super amazing. Watch. It. Now!

5. Amateur Art: Some of my favorite things to make are usable and wearable, so that's mostly what I do. Hence the Jewelry Shop. However, sometimes my heart just needs to speak through art on a canvas that's not meant to be seen, functional, or impressive. Like a journal in paint form. Or for me, it's currently wood, paint, old diary pages, nails, and string. Intrigued? Maybe I'll show you when it's done. Maybe.

What are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments!