Week & End

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHappy Friday! These past couple of weeks have absolutely flown by; life has been moving at such a fast pace, per usual. I had to share this inspiring photo of our Callie girl running around our backyard – isn’t she the most darling tripod you’ve ever seen?! We are so grateful for her good health and for the way she’s adjusted to life without her fourth limb, and we are equally encouraged by her bravery and resilience. God really knew what He was doing when He gave us dogs, didn’t He?

The past few weeks have been full of lots of goodness. We’ve been meeting friends for dinner (at new-to-us spots, like Pints & Quarts and Wild About Harry’s, plus some favorites like El Bolero and Taqueria La Ventana) and delivering meals to friends with new babies. We attended a gorgeous wedding at The Brooks at Weatherford, and I’m heading home to Chicago tonight to attend my cousin’s wedding tomorrow (I’m wearing this dress and I’m really excited about it). We’re planning parties and adventures and schedules and trips (more on the latter to come!) and enjoying the hustle and bustle of it all.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy some fun links!

I’m not 30 yet but I totally identified with this list created by the Huffington Post, 30 Things We Do In Our 30s That We Didn’t Do in Our 20s. I really resonated with #2, #14, and #18.

This article – Why The Overhead Myth Stunts Nonprofit Growth – was so encouraging to read. Non-profit employees and donors alike should definitely check this out and join the conversation.

Speaking of reading, what titles have you been digging into lately? I’m currently flying through The Hypnotist’s Love Story and I recently finished In the Unlikely Event and The Status of All Things, both of which were really enjoyable. I’ve got The Royal We, Modern Romance, and Circling the Sun on the docket. What else should I add to my list?

I know it’s still blazing hot in Dallas but I’ve already busted out the dutch oven to make white bean soup and it’s just as magical as always, even if it’s not yet soup weather. It’s so easy to make and leftovers freeze really well.

Artifact Uprising is giving you 25 free prints – this is a MAJOR score, peoples. Sign up, sign up!

If Your Job is All You Do

unnamedI’m back home in Dallas after having an absolutely wonderful time in Los Angeles! The Yellow Conference was so incredibly inspiring, and I loved getting to spend time with Andrew and Lauren on the best coast. More recaps (and lots of pretty pics) to come!

The conference stimulated me creatively in so many ways, and I felt encouraged to continue to seek out inspiration in my daily life once I returned home. Sometimes inspiration comes in the most unlikely of places, like in an email I received yesterday from one of my favorite companies, Artifact Uprising. The subject line – “If your job is all you do…” – jumped off the screen, capturing my attention. I loved what the business’s co-founder, Katie Thurmes, wrote about this topic on AU’s blog:

“You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do.”

I scribbled those words on a napkin three years ago. The words came at a time of tire. The truth is, I had spent years creating art at a rate that would soon try my passion for the very art that inspired that pace. It’s difficult to acknowledge that place. For one: it’s a privilege to take on work that’s infused with so much passion you dare name it a calling. And for two: admitting to that need, to admit aloud that your fire needs fueling demands a certain kind of courage to shift your own expectations for yourself.

Creativity requires of us to get out there, to unplug, to move and to pause – it requires we make room to think about what could be. We too often forget to take the deep breath and say “yes” to the things that scare us. Or the things we need the most. This “yes” is courage. Without it, we would have never made it to our desk today. And without it, we’ll never leave. Leaving is important – you’ll be better when you’re back.

I must interject here that I am blessed to have a healthy work + life balance, thanks to the fact that my place of work values personal time, family commitments, and vacation time. The fact that I was encouraged to go to the Yellow Conference on behalf of the foundation is an indication that our organization values inspiration that comes from outside the confines of the office. I know that many companies aren’t like that, and it isn’t always an option to sneak away or stop working (whether for a creative conference or a restful vacation) when deadlines and angry bosses loom near. That being said, I thought the message in Artifact Uprising’s email was an excellent reminder that creativity will always be stifled if we’re working ourselves to the bone, forgetting to pause to take in the beauty around us. This theme is one that was reiterated frequently at the Yellow Conference, and I can’t wait to share more of the things I learned while I was there. Stay tuned!

Image via Artifact Uprising

Touch A Life + Black Friday

TAL on Black FridayHow was your Thanksgiving? Ours was just as phenomenal as anticipated, filled with food and laughter and joy and togetherness. I’m so glad James and I will be in Chicago for a few more days! On the agenda – heading to the gun range at our country club (a first for our family!), hosting a pizza & wedding video outtakes viewing party, getting foot massages, and celebrating my birthday a few days early. I’m so happy!

In between all of our fun activities, I’m sure I’ll be checking out some awesome Black Friday deals, including the fabulous one that Touch A Life is offering. For a $50 donation, we will send you a signed copy of Pam Cope’s memoir, Jantsen’s Gift, along with a set of five beautiful Artifact Uprising prints of our children and Care Center in Ghana taken by photographer Nancy Borowick.  This is a limited edition item – only 16 sets are available!

For a $20 donation, we will send you a set of 10 Christmas cards with illustrations drawn by five Touch A Life children in Ghana. These are perfect to send to your family and friends as a Christmas greeting!

Visit Touch A Life’s website to make your donation and select the item that you’d like to receive. Your purchase will make a difference in the life of a child in Ghana – there’s not much better than that!