FACEBOOK, this seemingly alternate universe where people are torn down, built up & inspired beyond measure. It’s this virtual neighborhood where friendships are born via breastfeeding advice & enemies are established via political banter & visa versa. Flowery words & filtered photos make us feel warm & cozy & in the mood to cook awesome, glistening vegetables & cheesy fajitas. It’s a place where the dog gets kicked while he’s down, & celebrations are shared across the globe, a place where jealousy rears its ugly green head & fiery passions are ignited & then doused by the doubts of others. It’s the home of things like trending media shares that tug at our heartstrings & make us give money to people & countries truly in desperate need. It’s this wild tangle of a Universe where your neighbor’s babysitter’s cousin’s link to her “Home Happenings” pinterest board just offered up that firm nudge you’ve needed to get you motivated to tackle that garage wall organizational system you’ve been fantasizing about creating for the past year. It’s just this web of random thought & regurgitated rubbish mixed in with a muse of profound magnificence that truly is so wonderful & pitiful at the same time! I love facebook & I love all of my friends & family who stay connected with me & support our family in our endeavors. I so hope I do the same for you. Which brings me to my point. Do you know how important it is to surround yourself with people who inspire you to do better, shine brighter & give more freely of yourself? Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s invaluable. My favorite quote EVER is “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. We have so many loving, giving, kind-hearted, selfless friends & family members. How we have crossed paths with so many amazing human beings is beyond me. Whether it’s in the physical realm or the virtual realm, WE ARE BLESSED. The truly generous people we have built relationships with over the years mean the world to us. It brings me to tears when I reflect on the people in my life who touch my heart on a daily basis in some small or large way. Several days ago, I put out a ‘call to work’ on my facebook page. I was half serious & half joking, offering up brew, grilled bites & paint brushes to anyone who wanted to spend a day, an hour or even 15 minutes this weekend, to work on our new space with us. The response was overwhelming. I don’t just mean the glorious souls who showed up to freely offer up their time & efforts & talents, but the souls who reached out to me & said “We would be there if we could” or “We love you, best of luck” or “Enjoy the day, make some progress!” Friends & family just reaching out to show support in some small facet is so motivating & special. So on Saturday, friends took time out of their life to give to our family. No expectations in return, just lending a helping hand. Have we given enough to others? Does our family give enough? Do I? These are questions that I’m asking myself. Questions I’m asking my kids to contemplate. My sister & her husband & their 4 kids rolled up at my house without any warning – all the way from Ohio. They drove all night. They came to help us paint because they wanted to celebrate our new life experience & they wanted to share with their children, the excitement our children are currently experiencing. Did I mention they have 4 kids? Have you ever driven 9 straight hours with 4 kids to simply spend 12 hours somewhere? Yeah, well, THEY DID IT. And it’s really no surprise, because that’s their brand of badass. Another friend had literally been globe-trotting for two weeks straight & got home the day before. Jet lag & physical labor… Sound fun? NO. But she did it anyway. My friends & neighbors from Norfolk showed up, a friend from Williamsburg showed up, paint brushes in hand, ready to make this house a home, all because they value friendship. They like and want to see the ones they love succeed with their dreams. This makes my heart sing. Not just because they helped us, but because they reminded me of how important it is to be there for others, to celebrate friendship & family. On that day, they helped our kids learn about the importance of choosing your friends & family well. WHOLE PEOPLE are connected. We find one another & we celebrate together, we mourn together & we love. These are the generous, selfless, awesome human beings I strive to imitate. Thank you beyond words my dearest friends & family for always being there. Whether it’s words of wisdom, prayer kisses to the wind or physical presence. You all make our lives so very rich.
ABOVE: My beautiful sis & I.. Our families. XO
ABOVE: My hunk… Brew break.
ABOVE: Thanks Lindsey & Danielle! First coat on kitchen cabinets!
ABOVE: Lindsey & Danielle hard at work, sanding & painting!
ABOVE: Jabba Man & cousins enjoying the rain on work day!
ABOVE: I refer to him as “Generous John”… What a huge heart & kind soul!
ABOVE: Our bud Todd… He’s typically kind of lazy, not very physically active, not very good at too many things, spends a lot of time on the couch doin’ nothing… But he sure can paint! 😉
ABOVE: Feeling the love. Our cup runneth over. Gratitude.
ABOVE: The great news… Fresh fruit, Teagan’s homemade muffins & Panera java for breakfast. The sad news… Waaay too much plastic on this table.
ABOVE: Late night grub at ‘Chow’ with my beautiful sis & fam after a loooooong day. Let there be FOOOOOD!