31 Days|Day 13 How Polly’s House Changed Me

by Edie Wadsworth on October 13, 2011

This post is part of series called “31 Days to Rebuild Your House and Heart” and I’m writing it to chronicle our rebuilding process after we lost everything in a house fire last December. You can start here and read the whole series. Thanks for visiting!
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You’re not gonna hurt my feelings if you tell me I’m a fruitcake but the first time I ever visited Polly’s house, I dreamed about it for at least 3 days.

But heck, can you blame me?  I’ve said it before on this blog but I’ve always wanted to live in a farmhouse.   I’m an Ellie Mae/Ma Ingalls wannabe and I just know that at some point in this life, I need to raise chickens and bees and goats and llamas.

Polly lives the life of my alter ego.

One time when I went to visit, she had a  little black pig running around in the house! Now, that’s something you don’t see everyday.

Here’s some other things you should know about her. She’s an incredible mom with 3 of the cutest “yes ma’am”ing kids you’ve ever seen.
She’s southern to the core and everything about her house says welcome y’all and stay awhile. I love to see her serendipitously in town because she’s so fun to chat with and our two favorite subjects are homeschooling and adoption. I homeschool and she’s adopting but we’re both intrigued about both issues. I love her passion for orphans and was so thankful to be able , in some small way, to help support her trip to Uganda. Polly’s life is inspiring to me. She’s married to a wonderful, theology loving surgeon whose book stack puts mine to shame. She has a knack for making a house a home and just like Julie—-she has that certain ‘it’ factor when it comes to making perfect spaces. Her house is so different from anything I’ve seen and got under my skin. She and Julie, in much different ways, made me rethink the way I nest. I’m so lucky to have found such wonderful friends who inspire me on my journey of homemaking and mothering.

Her foyer is grand and beautifully welcoming with the most delicious scent I’ve ever smelled.

I took a picture of it so I could check on ordering it.

Just sit back and feast your eyes on the wonderful.


…..and the photo that nearly undoes me every time I see it—-the empty picture frame as they wait for *Ruby* to come home

the coolest powder room EVER—this picture doesn’t do it justice but that mirror is a good 8 ft tall?!

the master bath


the amazing gourmet kitchen


and the buffet I plagiarized
and the ‘whistle’ sign i’d steal if i could only lift it


and while i’m stealing, i’ll probably throw in  this adorable mirror from the boy cave upstairs!

this could be my favorite thing of all—-
life is full of hard things and sometimes all you can do is saddle up……
In true Polly fashion, she sent me away with this wonderful treat—-honey from their honey bees.   Of course she has bees!


You know what I love most about Polly and Jeff? As much as I love their life on the farm, I love their willingness to ask the hard questions. What is all this for? Polly said to me yesterday that her heart is changing—-that all this stuff doesn’t have the same hold on her it once did. They want to use their resources to serve others and are opening their lives and their home in the most wonderful way, through adoption.
It’s a theme all throughout scripture. We are blessed so that we may be a blessing to others.

Thank you so much Ms. Polly for having me into your home. It was a wonderful visit and I cried most of the way home.
And I prayed that Ruby will be find her home and her true identity in Christ, learning the faith from two of the most wonderful christian parents I know.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan October 14, 2011 at 12:44 am

You aren’t crazy that home is awesome! Thanks for sharing.  I will probably lose sleep tonight thinking about it!

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2 Susan October 14, 2011 at 12:44 am

You aren’t crazy that home is awesome! Thanks for sharing.  I will probably lose sleep tonight thinking about it!

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3 Ksadowski00 October 14, 2011 at 1:11 am

The scent is from Old Edwards in Highlands, NC (we just returned from a vaca there).  You can purchase it from the Oakleaf Flower and Gift Shop (across from Old Edwards Inn and Spa). Highlands, NC  … Kathy in Daytona Beach.

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4 Ksadowski00 October 14, 2011 at 1:14 am

Oops, I mean I know they sell the Inn’s scent there but they have others as well I believe. http://oakleafhighlands.com/

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5 the farmer's wife October 14, 2011 at 1:21 am

That is a great home!  I love the variety between your house, your neighbor’s and your farms friend’s.  They’re all great in their own right; and, I draw a different inspiration from each one.  What a blessing for you to know each family and draw inspiration from their lives as well.

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6 sara mcfarland October 14, 2011 at 1:32 am

oh my word!  gorgeous… 
i love how your posts always show something beautiful; not just by outer appearances but the inner/spiritual as well.  thanks for always sharing. 

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7 Ruth Emond October 14, 2011 at 2:34 am

Gorgeous house that is home to what sounds like an incredibly sweet family. Beautiful post. The pictures are amazing and your admiration for this family is heartwarming. I went over to her blog and read about her trip to Africa-so amazing!!

Thank you for sharing this beautiful home and family with us.

Ruth

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8 Tara October 14, 2011 at 2:42 am

beautiful home…beautiful life.

love their hearts for adoption…

I’m an ellie mae/ma ingalls loving wanna be, too….

love that her house and all of it’s stuff is losing it’s hold on her..but still.  Her home is awesome.

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9 Perfecting Pru October 14, 2011 at 7:27 am

What a beautiful house. I loved every minute of the tour.  The wreaths and the living room blew me away.

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10 Michelle Starling October 14, 2011 at 11:16 am

Their home is so beautiful and it sounds like they are a beautiful family.

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11 Lisa Domesticaccident October 14, 2011 at 11:38 am

Wow, that house blows me away.  I want that bathtub in a bad way. 

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12 Lisa Domesticaccident October 14, 2011 at 11:38 am

Wow, that house blows me away.  I want that bathtub in a bad way. 

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13 polly October 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Aww Edie, I am truly blessed and humbled by your kind words. I so enjoyed our visit and hope we can get together again real soon. Your photography skills are amazing, how you were able to disguise the pumpkin soup smears on the walls will always be a mystery to me. Your support of our Uganda trip and the orphans is a gift I will always treasure. I am thrilled to see your home unfold with the beauty and love you have infused into its walls.
love and blessings,
Polly

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14 Laura Wadsworth October 14, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Wow! Polly’s house is drop dead gorgeous! I think I’m going to dream about it tonight…

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15 a pocket full of posies October 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm

*swoon*!!!- and the frame had me crying too!!- precious!!
Thanks for sharing AND inspiring!!- I’ll be dreaming about it too!
Blessings!
Jill

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16 {darlene} October 14, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Polly!! {and HIIIIII edie!!!!!!!!} Your home is gorgeous!!! Love me some farmhouse!!! so many blessing, you two!

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17 Celeste Bracewell October 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm

This is interesting: “Polly said to me yesterday that her heart is changing—-that all this stuff doesn’t have the same hold on her it once did. They want to use their resources to serve others and are opening their lives and their home in the most wonderful way, through adoption. It’s a theme all throughout scripture. We are blessed so that we may be a blessing to others.”  My degree is in architectural interiors…I’ve never seen a space yet for which I don’t envision possibilities.  But I’ve also watched clients fret needlessly. I want them to discover the joy of hospitality…the good old Southern variety and the hospitality that Henri Nouwen addressed in his wonderful book, Reaching Out.  I love both yours and Polly’s approach to design: a reflection of the personalities who live in the space…authentic, not made-to-impress but designed to enhance the lives of those who inhabit or just pass through. A “friend of a friend” told this story:  She and her husband were avid collectors of art and antiques. When he died, she sold their Park Avenue apartment, selected a few – as in very few – pieces with sentimental attachment and called Sotheby’s…put the entire collection on the auction block.  Bought a place in Boca! Her exact quote: “The pleasure was the fun I had with my husband. The things never fed me. With his death, I worried about break-ins and upkeep.  I decided that when things begin to own us, it’s time to let go.”  Recently married at sixty (love is grand), Bill and I just bought a condo here in California and are making our new home.  We will enjoy feathering this new nest with the hope of creating a haven for all who grace these doors.  He actually likes flea markets and yard sales.  More importantly, we both know that what keeps us warm is God’s love. He provides all.  We are just the temporary recipients.  Ah, Edie…part Mary, part Martha: food on the table and an anointing all rolled into one.

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18 FlowerPatchFarmgirl October 15, 2011 at 2:39 pm

That there is pure gorgeousity. All of it.

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19 tara faulkner October 15, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Pure bliss!   Thank you for sharing this beautiful home with us.  Both you and Polly have something major in common.  Your homes are as beautiful as your spirits!  Please send me a note and let me know about her house plans…where can we find them?  I love the layout//!!!!  Thank you again and please>

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20 Anonymous October 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Thank you for sharing your new home with us on your blog! I’m lovin’ the colors in your header!! Reading your blog makes me miss my home state of East Tennessee!! I may live in Texas and love it but Tennessee will always be home! I also have received much encouragement in my walk with the Lord through your blog, especially the words about the Good Samaritan-thanks! And I check in several times a day to see the latest reveal of house-fun! I have a request, if you should want to address it, to know where Polly found the chairs in front of her fireplace. I have been looking for chairs for 3 years and those look alot like what I’m trying to find, in style as well as size. If this request could be addressed I would certainly appreciate it, if not, that’s ok! Have a wonderful weekend!

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21 Polly November 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm

beatle55, i’m looking to sell those chairs, my husband has convinced me he wants lazy boys, as if, but still going to replace these with recliners of some ? sort, if you are interested in these you can email me, adams5farmfun@att:disqus.net

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22 Polly November 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm

not disqus.net just.
net

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23 Anonymous October 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Oh, and I am very curious as to where your fireplace vents to-that one has me puzzled from the pictures!

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24 Christie October 16, 2011 at 3:20 am

Hi Edie – I’m been following for a couple years now and really appreciate your thoughtful posts.

This home is beautiful – no doubt about it.  The attention to detail is incredible and you can tell that a lot of love went into creating that space.

I hope you will take this next comment in the spirit in which it is sent…(read = in love) but as a mama to a beautiful “African baby” going on four years now, your comment “I’m an Ellie Mae/Ma Ingalls wannabe and I just know that at some point
in this life, I need to raise chickens and bees and llamas and African
babies.”…..well, it came across a bit glib. 

You paired up raising bees, llamas, and chickens in the same category as my sweet boy – and it just hit a rare nerve for me.  I’m usually of the “choose not to be offended” camp – but when you later mention to have a heart toward adoption it made me realize that you have no idea how that comment came across; as if you see “raising African babies” as a novelty of your life that you need to check off the bucket list.  Which I truly don’t think was your intent. 

However, if you pursue this community of people who have or are adopting, you will find quickly that those kinds of comments are much more hurtful than you might think them to be.  Right up there with “how much did he cost?” and “do you know who the ‘real’ mother is”.  Ugh.  Though your friend Polly may be far too kind to ever say this to you, I think it’s still important to point out.  Clearly you are moved by their choice to adopt, and I think that’s wonderful.

It’s not about adoptive parents being too sensitive, it’s about devaluing with words something that takes so much effort, heart, commitment, and just as much love as any mother could contain.  Not quite the same as raising chickens.  I know you know that.  But I just needed to say it…

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25 edie wadsworth October 16, 2011 at 5:32 am

Christie,
We have been drawn to adoption for so many years now and just this week—-I think the result of God’s divine providence through the fire, have decided to officially pursue it. We have an appointment with an attorney to start the journey. We are woefully inexperienced in this and scared and excited and apparently have lots to learn. I appreciate the gentle reprimand and beg your forgiveness. I appreciate the grace from you—realizing that the comment was out of ignorance and not malice and I will promptly remove it. I applaud and pray for you Christie in your courage to care for orphans and to speak on their behalf. The Lord bless you and keep you.
xo,
edie

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26 Christie October 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Forgiven and forgotten…

Best wishes to your family as you pursue one of the greatest journeys your life will ever know.  Truly.  The power of God’s redemption was never as real to me as it was the moment my sweet son was placed in my arms for the first time.  There we were in a run-down, poverty stricken, hopeless place in the middle of Africa…and God was more real to me in those moments than in my entire Christian faith, showing me exactly what he had done for ME on a much larger scale.   He chose me and I did nothing to deserve it.  He just did.  Simply unbelievable…the Gospel came to life.

You will learn a completely new language in this process and your eyes and heart will never be the same…and you might find yourself, one day, gently correcting another heart; stemming from the deep and abiding love you bear your child.  Prepare to be overwhelmed with a new depth of love we sometimes don’t think we’re capable of…

xo

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27 Dena October 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm

“You will learn a completely new language in this process and your eyes and heart will never be the same…”  this one line is loaded with truth!
We are an adoptive family as well, and once that child is grafted into your family, you identify with them in ways you just don’t understand before that moment.  Words you once used somewhat casually, like orphan for instance, suddenly feel…personal, deep, loaded with meaning. 
God bless you and your precious family, Edie, on the journey that you are beginning!

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28 Lanakwaustin October 17, 2011 at 5:10 am

I hope this goes through–the comments thingie hasn’t liked me lately ;) I’m so glad you featured her house (& I LOVED your other friend/neighbor’s house with all those vivid colors, too!) because….well, it’s fantastic…but also, because of you, I’ve “met” P. online/we follow each other and I fell in love with her huge heart/beautiful family and her adoption story–you know w/ me being an adoptee that I’m a MAMMOTH advocate of it and I’m in awe of what she’s doing and as soon as Tom gets back from Afghanistan next year we’re hoping to jump on that bandwagon. Love/hugs/blessings & turquoise joy to you pretty lady, Lana

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29 edie wadsworth October 17, 2011 at 11:36 am

oh how wonderful—that two absolute sweethearts have found each other. i wanted to let you know that i’m working on a linking post for you article on tom (which was wonderful) that will include some other great stuff too. where are you living now lana? many prayers and blessings for your family, xo,
edie

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30 Lanakwaustin October 17, 2011 at 5:10 am

I hope this goes through–the comments thingie hasn’t liked me lately ;) I’m so glad you featured her house (& I LOVED your other friend/neighbor’s house with all those vivid colors, too!) because….well, it’s fantastic…but also, because of you, I’ve “met” P. online/we follow each other and I fell in love with her huge heart/beautiful family and her adoption story–you know w/ me being an adoptee that I’m a MAMMOTH advocate of it and I’m in awe of what she’s doing and as soon as Tom gets back from Afghanistan next year we’re hoping to jump on that bandwagon. Love/hugs/blessings & turquoise joy to you pretty lady, Lana

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31 Mimi October 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I “met” Polly through blog land months ago. She has been sweet, friendly, and just a ball of sunshine from our first notes back and forth. This was a such a sweet post.

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32 white elephant party December 16, 2012 at 2:17 am

Their large ears, and small mouths are a reminder to listen more than we speak.
This day, minimum of 100 lamps and maximum of
1 lakh lamps are lighted. The white elephant gift exchange
idea spread, and now it’s a much-loved way of possessing an extremely very good time with other people.

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33 Home.A January 6, 2013 at 10:36 am

It is that slightly creepy, Barbie doll whose legs sit inside the roll of toilet paper,
her usually crocheted skirt hiding the spare TP roll.
This may even require that you offer someone a place to sleep or a cab ride home.

The white elephant gift exchange idea spread, and
now it’s a much-loved way of possessing an extremely very good time with other people.

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