Maybe He Speaks Spanish

A few weeks ago I was putting Emma to bed and we were chatting about school and family and life in general.  We started talking about an incident with Finn and suddenly she sprang up and said “Mom, I know!  Maybe Finn speaks Spanish and that’s why we can’t understand him!”  I can’t remember if I laughed out right or was able to hold it in but I assured her he wasn’t speaking Spanish.  This lead to an interesting conversation about our family and our heritage.  We have Scottish and Irish roots with some German and Native American Indian thrown in but I could sense that she was feeling sad because she didn’t have anything that made her “special” like her friends who could speak two languages.   Oh, goodness!  What do you tell this sweet girl who wants to be a princess and live in a castle…  I know, maybe that her ancestors may have been princesses (I don’t really think that’s quite the case which we talked about), lived in castles and talk like Shrek?  Umm, yes, I think that’ll do, Donkey, that’ll do…  In fact, I’ve heard clans on my side of the family were at odds with clans on Jeff’s side of the family.  Doesn’t that just beat all?


Fast forward to Emma’s class Halloween party.  I made her costume and could tell she felt fabulous in it.  When we got to school we put her costume on and away she and Finn went scurrying into the throng of 20 other kids.  We sang songs, shared treats, participated in a parade of sorts through the school halls, read stories and celebrated a birthday.  And then it happened…  One of the mom’s wanted Emma to sit next to her daughter because “she is so pretty”.  In the moment I helped get Emma’s attention to sit for a photo, etc.  But as the children sat eating their cupcakes and I reflected on what had occurred and it seemed odd to me.  Other such scenarios played in my mind as I thought through why my kids garner so much attention.  I know Emma is one of two “white” kids in her class.  I know we are in one of the most diverse communities in the nation.  And now this community is shaping and changing us in ways I would have never imagined.  Emma doesn’t miss much.  She sees and hears the differences between her and her classmates.


I don’t have a nice bow to put around what I’ve learned from these situations.  I’m struggling to put my finger on what to take to heart, what to stand up for and what to let roll off my back.  My mind is a muddle.  So, I’ll leave you to think and pray with me.  As we walk further and deeper into what and where God is calling us I pray for an open mind and open heart, for stamina to run this new race for which I feel ill-equipped, for wisdom when there are no words to explain and the peace that passes all understanding to prevail in our family.  Amen.


The Joy of a Finished Project

Hello friends!  Today I get to finally show off a website design I’ve been working on for the last couple of months.  We pretty much stripped the old site completely down and rebuilt from the ground up.

PWD Website before

PWD Website after

As I worked through the design process with Susan of Plantswoman Design we really had to establish the purpose of the website and goals for use.  The old site had lots of information but some of it wasn’t really helpful in describing what Susan does or letting her passion for great design and fabulous plants shine through.  It also took some convincing to leave the earthy color palette for the clean feel of the white/gray/blue/green but we made the jump and I feel like the site breaths well and will age well.  I love the consistent look from page to page and am loving weaving it through out the additional collateral we are working on.

I also enjoyed working with Lowell Sannes of Lowell Sannes Photography on the technical development of the site and the team photo shoot was hilarious at times.

I’d love you all to swing by and take a look.  Let me know what you think!

Business Cards for My Plant Lady

I’ve been working on some new business card concepts for Plantswoman Design whom I affectionately call my Plant Lady.  We’ve come a long way in the last year and that’s when it all started.  About a year ago Susan approached me because she needed new business cards printed and maybe we could update it a little.  Well, a year, two new logos, a garden show, a move and a website later we are coming back to the business card. We’ve worked really hard to get everything just right and “timeless” (so she doesn’t feel like it needs updated again anytime soon), especially the logo.  With new logo in hand it’s time to start applying it to all of Plantswoman’s business papers and such.

To let you in on what I’ve been working on of late I wanted to share with you some of the design comps we’ve been working through…

This is where I started.  One of color palettes we wanted to play with was an acid green and purple.  Susan wanted some wow factor and I envisioned the purple leaves in this sample letterpress-ed.  My personal favorite is the vertical sample with big fat leaves.  I can imagine the feel of the cotton paper and the leaves pressed into the paper.  Sigh… I love letterpress.  While this design is beautiful Susan wanted a more saturated look.

PWD Bus Card CompsI have to admit I had my doubts about this much color on one little card but I think it works.  The way the green pops on the purple background really surprised me.  We decided to stick with a horizontal orientation to ensure the business logo could be as big as possible (with in reason of course).  These designs struck both of us as a little busy and Susan thought using more leaves might take away from the leaf in the logo.  I can totally see her point so I went back to the drawing board.  We also wanted to try a different color palette.

Bus Card Comps 2This is our most recent round of comps.  How bout that blue, huh?  I don’t have much to say about this round as Susan and I haven’t had the chance to really let the designs sink in yet.  At first my favorite was the top sample with the branches but the bottom sample with the green peony is really starting to grow on me.  I think the peony needs to be a bit bolder and I need to fix the white corner on the upper right but all in all it is quickly becoming my favorite.

RPS Blog - PWD BCSo, what do you think?  Do you have favorites?  I’d love to know what you think so leave a comment below and let’s chat.

Rodeo Birthday Ideas


photo by

Hello friends!  Emma’s birthday is fast approaching.  I recently asked her what type of party she wanted she said “I think a Rodeo Princess party would be fine.”  As I tried to keep the shock out of my voice I said OK and it is time to plan.  Since we moved I’ve been worried we wouldn’t have met very many folks to invite to her party.  It just so happens we have a friend who’s birthday is the 30th (Emma’s is the 24th) and, after talking with his wonderful mom, we just may do their party together!  Emma says it is now a Rodeo Prince and Princess party.  I haven’t checked that with our friends but it might just work…

Here are some of our ideas on Pinterest for your viewing pleasure. While you are there I’d love to have you following along with me as we create this season.

Sarah’s Wedding

Well, hello hot July weather!!!  I know, I know, it’s terribly cliche to be a north-westerner complaining about hot weather.  I would say I am more astonished by the rarely felt humidity than anything.  We are actually supposed to get thunder storms for goodness sakes.  My husband and I had an evening meeting for which my mother graciously came to kid watch for and let me drive her little Mini to the meeting.  It was amazing!!!  The warm air all around me but in a refreshing way was simply glorious.

My mom and I have been working closely together for the past few months and one of our projects was my childhood friend Sarah’s wedding.  I have two friends in this great world that I can call my oldest friends and she is one of them.  We had a great time talking and dreaming about her wedding and the one thing Sarah knew she wanted was orchids…  green ones.  If you take a look at the Pinterest board we created during our scheming you will see some of the ideas we mulled over.  There are some fabulous ideas out there and I was so glad to have Pinterest to collect all of them for us.

Our job for Sarah’s wedding was to decorate the Ceremony site and put together all of the bridal party flowers.  We also decorated the banister inside heading up to the reception area.  One of the issues that became urgent as we finalized the plan was that orchids are expensive.  Not the stretch-your-budget-a-little-but-that’s-okay expensive but the blow-your-budget-to-smithereens expensive.  Instead of getting all crazy stressed out I started researching ways to accomplish the look we were going for but for a fraction of the cost.  Here are some of the lessons I learned…

  1. Silk orchids can be beautiful and just as stunning as the real thing.  We ended up using silk orchids with live greenery for the bride’s bouquet as well as for all six bridesmaids and live mini orchids for the groom, all six groomsmen and the parent’s boutineers.  I knew we had a winner when I came to the rehearsal with two of the bouquets and the Maid of Honor didn’t realize they were silk.
  2. Work with your suppliers.  I purchased the silk orchids from Hobby Lobby.  When I talked with the floral manager she was able to tell me, in a round about way, when the flowers would go on sale again and that I could get a rain check for any flowers they didn’t have for me.  She then ordered extras for me that I could use my rain check on.  I’ll admit, this did kind of back fire on me a little as the orchids were very popular and was back ordered for a couple weeks.  This didn’t work for me as I needed them the week of but we punted and everything turned out just fine.  For the real orchids I asked lots and lots of questions about how to care for the flowers we purchased so I didn’t kill them before they made their big debut.  (this was a huge worry for me as we wouldn’t be able to get replacements)
  3. Write down your plan.  I had done a pretty good job making sure I had the plan set with the bride but when it came down to actually putting every thing together I had a hard time communicating everything that needed to be done.  This left my mom to her own devices and that was stressful for her.  She may be my mother but we’ve never been able to read each others minds.

All in all I think everything we accomplished looked stunning and there is very little that I would change.  Enjoy the slide show below and let me know what you think!

My Creative Birthday

Yes…  It was my birthday.  July 8th to be exact.  Life has been moving at such a fast pace I barely had time to think about what I wanted to do.  We ended up with a small celebration at our house with steak and cake albeit not at the same time.  To tell you the truth I wasn’t feeling up to a party but we did it anyway.  Emma got a little bored, started acting out and got sent to time out.  When I went back to talk with her she had a fabulous idea brewing.  “Mom, let’s have a competition and make play-dough cakes!”  And while I wasn’t feeling up to party games I agreed.  The fun that ensued is fully owned by my 4 year old daughter…  Enjoy!

(ps I put the photos on Facebook via Instagram and our friends had fun voting too!)

Early June Birthday

Hello friends!  This month seems to be flying by.  If you haven’t heard by now my family is planning a big move to Chicago this fall.  A mere one and a half months away… Yikes!  As a pastor’s family we have a lot of goodbyes to say and people to connect with before we leave.  Leaving a church is different than leaving a “regular” job.  There are so many relationships and people involved in a church and that makes leaving a very delicate task.  One of the amazing people that is helping us through this transition is my husband’s partner in crime, Ruby.  Her birthday falls in early June.  In fact, when we found out that our son’s due date was June 3rd she, and a few others, began campaigning for him to be born on their birthday.  It didn’t really work, he was born May 29th but it was fun anyway.  As I was looking for light bulb images for the graduation cards I came across this lovely set of pendent lamps.  I love their vintage feel.  Here is how the final card turned out.  Enjoy!