October 13, 2015

Celebrations


I heard this quote the other day, "You have to practice gratitude to feel joy." I think that might be the truest statement I've ever heard. I'm a big proponent of focusing on the blessings in my life. Sometimes I have to process a situation before I get there, but I always get there.


I'm finding lots to celebrate around here lately. First off, it's autumn. I personally believe autumn is the best thing in the history of best things. It's at least right up there with falling in love, golden retriever puppies and warm chocolate chip cookies.


For those of you asking for an autumn tour of the Village, I'm more than happy to oblige. Next week is our fall break and we are happily spending it at home. I can't wait to take my camera out and capture the magic that is our Village for you!


I am of the opinion that birthdays should be a big deal. Trust me if your birthday was 5 days before Christmas, you would be convinced of this fact too! It's why I love to spoil those I love on their special days. Last Friday I celebrated the birthday of one of my best with some quality crafting time, the results of which I will show you soon. Even messes in the studio are worthy of a celebration.


I'm celebrating having finished up all of my early fall nesting projects, including painting my lower cabinets a pale grey. The plus side of having really, really ugly homemade, ancient cabinets is that you don't hesitate to throw a coat of paint on them on a whim.


Not that I wouldn't happily give all of that up for beautiful new professionally finished cabinets that were topped with marble! But I will patiently wait as long as needed for that dream kitchen and then I will spend every day that I am in it feeling that much more grateful.


I'm celebrating that after a morning spent deep cleaning my kitchen, that it's sparkling and that my girl came home from school and made a batch of chocolate chip muffins in it. And now it's just occurred to me that I haven't walked into the kitchen since she finished the muffins and there's a pretty good chance that it might no longer be sparkling, but still...muffins, right?


I'm also celebrating friendship and generosity. I have had so much of it extended to me lately. Then today I received this amazing framed artwork from my very talented friend Shelly Kennedy. I have admired her art since Maddie was a little girl! I cannot even recall how we ended up becoming acquainted through our blogs. I was so blessed to get to meet her in person at an art retreat several years ago. She is beautiful inside and out and she has been so sweetly encouraging to me for many years. Recently she posted a photo on Instagram of some arrow artwork that she had made and I fell in love and wanted to buy it. She wouldn't let me but insisted on sending it to me. Today it arrived with the most beautiful card that I want to share part of with you. It's a great example of how your words can bless someone's heart.
She said:
I changed this design up just a touch. Only ONE arrow is going in the opposite direction- just like you!!
...true to your path,
...doing your own thing,
...standing out from others,
...going strong with nothing in your way!!
Don't ever waver!

Words I will remember every time I look at this beautiful picture. 


Many of you have asked how I'm doing so I just want to share that I am slowly getting better. I can tell an improvement from week to week. I have days that are good and those that aren't and I try to adjust my attitude and life accordingly. I now nap without guilt when I need to. Who thought that day would come?! Sometimes I get frustrated when I tire so easily or when my lungs hurt at the end of day when I do too much or when it takes me a week (if I can manage it at all) to do what used to take me a couple of days. I'm choosing not to let it all get me down and choosing not to focus on the negatives. What would be the point? Things could be worse and I have much to celebrate!

20 comments:

  1. Your message was a blessssing today. Glad to hear you're on the mend after your scary summer.

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  2. Glad to hear you're feeling up to little celebrations after all you've had going on with your health! Healing and good health are definitely reasons for celebration in themselves. For what it's worth, I love your kitchen - even the cabinets. They certainly look much better than mine, which are circa 1980 oak with no hardware! There's 20 of them - plus four drawers. And I'm not into painting, nor am I good at it. So, they stay the way they are until hopefully, one day we can afford to have them professionally repainted. I'd like to tear down some upper ones and put in open shelving, too. Looking forward to a tour of your village!

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  3. What truth and wisdom, Jen! I've recently been watching Brene Brown videos online (in anticipation of *finally* reading Daring Greatly and Rising Strong) and she says that in all her years of research, she has found the most joyful people practice gratitude daily. Glad you continue to mend and are appreciating all the good in life. Your print is absolutely gorgeous and the coat of grey paint really makes the white and touches of color pop in your kitchen. :)

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  4. I love your words, sweet friend. I'm thankful that you are finding yourself stronger and thankful that you know when to rest. I'm still praying for your full recovery!
    I'm very excited to see peeks into your village…I'll be waiting on pins and needles! :) Also…where is your autumn candle from? I love the look of it and I imagine it smells perfect for this season.

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  5. Glad to hear you are noticing improvements daily - and I think your kitchen looks wonderful! Isn't it amazing how the kids always know when you've just finished cleaning the kitchen.....that's when they always want to come bake something!

    Enjoy your peace.

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  6. I am glad you are still mending. Onward and upward. Every day you'll be stronger. Looking forward to seeing the Village in pictures. Hugs to you and yours!

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  7. I am glad that you are listening to your body.

    It is cooler today (after too many days of 85° TO 100°) and maybe I will be able to day that I completed some of my nesting projects. I'd rather be baking though!

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  8. I am happy to hear you are feeling better...take time and listen to your body.
    I love seeing pictures of your beautiful and kitchen...as I have stated before I love yiur kitchen. It is so charming just like your home
    Enjoy your Wednesday friend.

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  9. Happy to see that you are feeling better and so sweet of you to share your lovely home!

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  10. I love your new colour on the cabinets and that arrow print is phenomenal! Get well soon.

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  11. I love your photos and words and how they weave a story of your days. I think you did a great job with your cabinets..we need to do the best with what we have and I know from experience, I grow to love things even if I'm not so crazy at first, especially timeworn original parts of my old home.

    New to your blog, I'm not sure what sort of illness you are recovering from. I'm a terrible asthmatic so i may be taking a stab in the dark. Hope I'm not prying. In any event---all the best and healing wishes.

    Jane x

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  12. Even though it may not be your dream kitchen, it is still very inviting! I too am waiting and anticipating a beautiful new kitchen one day and as you say..won't we appreciate it even more after having to deal with an imperfect one! The print and note from your friend are very lovely, isn't it wonderful how you became friends via blogging? I am fairly new to the blogging world, it is so tough to find like minded women to connect with. Your blog is so cheerful and positive! I hope you are feeling 100% very soon. Take care and take naps and never feel you need to make excuses for creating beauty instead of household chores

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  13. I love your kitchen. It's so light and airy. Until we moved to the house we now live in, I've always had kitchens that were outdated, so I could paint the cabinets whatever color I wanted to and make it my own! This house has brand new cabinets and granite. I know I must sound whiney, but what I would give to throw a coat of paint on them! However, my husband would probably disown me, so I won't.

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  14. Hi Jen! :)
    I just love coming here, I needed that reminder about practicing gratitude to find joy!
    What an amazing gift from your blog friend and her words to you were so amazing!
    I absolutely love your kitchen just the way it is, I love your lower cupboards, the new coat of paint is perfect!
    And I cannot wait to see your photos of your village, your photography is always so pretty.
    I am glad to hear you are getting better bit by bit! Naps do wonders! :)
    Kimberley

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  15. Jen, I waited until I had a few minutes to comment because I feel like saying Yes, Yes, & triple Yes! to everything that you wrote! Your celebrate package is sheer perfection -- If I received it, I would keep that daring piece of art on my inspiration board to observe for all time. I know how frustrating it is to live with a kitchen that isn't your dream, but I have to say that I love your homey-so-Jen-that-its-perfect kitchen. This is such an affirming post, I just love the quote that you mentioned -- words to live your days by. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Thank you Kim. That quote really spoke to me too!

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  16. I just found your blog. Really love the photos and enjoy the writing.

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  17. Love your house and your style. We have old very old homage cabinets too. But over the years we have lived with them I've gone to appreciate them. They are not perfect but they are solid. Built probably 60 plus years ago. We r selling our house and losing that kitchen is like losing and old sturdy friend. Not all fancy but tried and true. Younger maybe be nice but I always think of all the history love that the cabinetc have absorbed. I will miss them. And I try not to think about it but I'm sure the new owners are going to replace them. That life though.

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  18. Love your house and your style. We have old very old homage cabinets too. But over the years we have lived with them I've gone to appreciate them. They are not perfect but they are solid. Built probably 60 plus years ago. We r selling our house and losing that kitchen is like losing and old sturdy friend. Not all fancy but tried and true. Younger maybe be nice but I always think of all the history love that the cabinetc have absorbed. I will miss them. And I try not to think about it but I'm sure the new owners are going to replace them. That life though.

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.