If you’re new around here, let me extend a hardy welcome!  I recently  updated my ‘about’ page, which was 3 years overdue!  You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest and find me on Instagram as ‘lifeingrace’!  Mostly, you’ll find me at home, cooking , teaching, crafting,  reading some great books, and practicing the art of hospitality!  Hope you find something that makes you smile!


This is what my house looks like in my mind.

This is the way it really looks.  #crapeverywhere

Tell me I’m not alone.

Thanks for the emails and well wishes about my injury. I’m doing well, healing up pretty fast and hobbling around with a walking boot.

Here’s what happened.  I was running on the main drag in our little town.  I’ve been running on this road for 12 twelve years.  I know where to start and stop if I want to run 3 or 4 or 5 or 10 miles.   I know where every bathroom is and every place I can get free water.  I feel like I could run it in my sleep.  I love that kind of familiarity with something you’ve done countless times.  Friday morning, it was cold and I probably didn’t warm up enough.  I jumped over a small puddle onto an embankment and when I landed, I felt like someone had hit me in the back of the calf with a baseball and then I felt a *snap*.   I went down to the ground and couldn’t really walk. I called my friend, Sue, who was dropping her kids off to school and she drove me to my car.  I may or may not have been sobbing.  Poor Sue.

Then when I got home and settled in with my ice and walking boot, I went on a googling spree to see how to speed up this healing process.

The first site I landed on said,  “This injury is common among  the middle-aged.”    Shut it, google.   Who asked you anyways.

Long story not so long, I have a (partial?) tear in my left calf muscle and will be gimpy for a month or so.  It’s feeling so much better already so I’m praying for a quick recovery.  Running is my sanity, my stress reliever, my therapy.  I’d say the inspiration for  75% of the things I write come when I’m running.  I’m just warning you, it may be lame around here for  awhile!

Apparently, I’ll do anything for new boots.

We made so many goodies, including a huge batch of Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls.  You really need to try these.  They’re delicioso.

My mom and sister, who are saints!, have been helping me finish all my Christmas baking/shopping/mailing/etc.    I am so thankful for them in my life.  It seems like they’re always doing something to help me!  Love you both so much.

And then there’s this::OH MY HEAVENS!!!!!  Our house is featured in January’s Better Homes and Gardens!

I am so humbled and happy and weepy and verklempt.

And the fact that it’s all come full circle now, with the 2 yr. anniversary approaching.  It’s just about done me in.

I’m still pinching myself and tearing up at the least provocation.   Thank you, Better Homes.  Thank you, Gretchen.  Thank you, Darlene.

Thank you, Elizabeth and Heather and Zane and Jessica.    I love you all.

My heart is full to the brim and running over.

Thank you all for being so excited with me and posting your pics to Facebook.  It’s been such a fun week.

And to add to my reasons to squeal, House Beautiful tweeted a link to my stri-ped bathroom!!!!!!!!  I would SO do a hitch-kick if I could.

And all minor ailments and perfect joys aside, we are full swing into Nutcracker festivities.  My girls are both performing again this year and the first performance is tonight.  Elea’s in the party scene (red dress)  and Emme is in flowers and is the ballerina doll (black and white tutu).  Performances are open to the public Thursday, Dec. 20th at 7:30,  Friday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 and Sat at 2 and 7:30, at Walter’s State Community College.  Dress rehearsal was last night and it’s gonna be a great show!  Come and support the arts!  You can purchase tickets here.

And while we’re just catching up on life, can I keep this boxwood wreath up year round?  I think I should be allowed to.  Y’all would start making fun of me around April, I’m sure of it.

Also, I’ve entered into full obsession with cuties.  They are both delightful to eat and to gaze upon.   Simple pleasures.


When I got back from the doctor on Friday, I was still a weepy mess.  Sad about the injury, hurting physically, wondering how I would get it all done without getting around very fast.  And remembering the fire—as the two year anniversary quickly approaches.

Then, I turned on the tv to see the Connecticut shootings.  Oh, the senseless horror and tragedy.  I can’t even begin to imagine the depths of despair that those families feel right now.  It’s hard to think about anything else.

I’ve listened to lots of news coverage and commentary on the shootings but nothing like the clarity of this pastor, Mark Lovett, of Concordia Lutheran Church,  as he preached on the 3rd Sunday of Advent.  If you are still wondering why—–how could this possibly happen in America, you will be blessed and encouraged by this 15 minutes of pastoral wisdom.  I promise you that it will make more sense than the hours of commentary you’ve heard in the media.

Bless you, friends as you hold your loved ones tight and celebrate the Light, which makes all things new.  You can listen to the sermon here or read it online here.

Excerpt from the sermon:

But in the face of such evil, in the heart breaking hours that follow so gross and wicked and perverse things as what happened two days ago, these gods are silent. Money cannot answer the pain because money feels no pain. Gun Control cannot bring back those that have lost their lives to bullets. Morality cannot sympathize or bring good news because Morality has failed at keeping us moral. The American Dream and Prosperity and Pay It Forward, and all our other gods from which we seek blessings and good are deaf to our cries and mute to our pain. They are silent because they know nothing, feel nothing, and can do nothing. They are gods of wind and smoke, vapor and fog. And those who trust in them shall be put to shame, for when evil strikes and homes are devastated and we are robbed of joy and peace, these gods are useless and pathetic and from them all we get is divine silence.

Only the God who speaks can give answer. Only the God who fashioned man in His image can answer. Only He can give answer because only He has borne our sorrows and carried our grief. Only He became as we are. And on His lips we hear the voice of all mankind, issuing forth the cry of every suffering soul: My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?

 And just as the Lord Jesus puts the question of mankind to voice, so He Himself is the answer. Here in the disparity of our hearts the Lord speaks His word of comfort: I AM. I am with you always, even unto the end of the age. And in this, we rejoice. The Lord is at hand.I am with you when you suffer, for I suffer for you. I am with you when you die, for I died for you. I am with you in the grave, for I lay in the grave for you. I am with you when you weep, for I weep for you. I am with you when mourn, for I mourn for you. I am with you for I am one of you.



I am so thankful for you all.

Here’s wishing you beautiful days ahead as we wait for Light to dawn!



47 comments on “the Ups and Downs”


  2. I’m 33 weeks of gimpy and just now only running once a week. My body is fluffy and I don’t like it. YET the Lord has met me in such sweet ways during this injury (Achilles tendonitis in BOTH legs). It still hurts. It has slowed me down. I’m 41 and don’t fight age, but I don’t want to just curl up and veg. But I’m 41 and my body doesn’t bounce like it used to. Hardly. Cute shoes hurt. Bunions have crept in. I’m healthy dangit! But aging is reality.

    I’ll pray you heal quickly but don’t be dumb and push it. You are a doctor, you know that. 🙂

  3. Oh, and yes, my house does have stuff everywhere. I just got home from visiting a friend with six kids. Her kitchen gave me such comfort. There was stuff on the counters! She has amazing taste and a beautiful home but it looks lived in and comfy and welcoming. Life is messy.

  4. My grandchildren are sleeping and I get my cup of tea and hope Edie has some words for me this afternoon. I am never disappointed….beautiful words from your pastor.
    I hope your recovery is speedy and it is comforting to know you have clutter like the rest of us mortals….. I yearn to be super organized and uncluttered, but never quite achieve it.

  5. You are such an inspiration to me. Not only in your carefree decorating spirit, but in your constant reminders of what matters. Our Savior, our families. You are so lucky to have your family close to lean on when ya need them. Have a Merry Christmas!!

  6. My BHG mag came today and I put it down immediately. The last thing I want to see right now is a mag for January so I never read these until after December – it’s like they steal the fun out of the holidays; for instance, right next to the stocking stuffers in Walmart yesterday were displays of VALENTINE CANDY!!!
    Anyway, I gave it a second glance and flipped it open to your article. I was so excited to see you and your hubby that I decided I may actually sit down and read it later today instead of two weeks from now!

  7. Awesome post. Really good to remember that there is always someone with more pain than I have, be it physical or emotional. Thanks for the words you speak. I hope you get to feeling better soon. And, you can leave your boxwood wreath up because,by golly, it’s your home!!

  8. I didn’t say that right, I don’t mean I am glad someone else has more pain, I mean that I need to quit whining and be thankful for what I have!

  9. I was so thrilled to see a new post from you today. You are stylin in that new boot. Just take it easy for a bit, then you’ll be back to running.
    Thank you for sharing the excerpt and link to that sermon. I have watched much more of the news than I usually do and can not comprehend what could have led to this senseless tragedy. Thank you for always sharing so openly.
    My home never really looks like the pictures in my head. We are here all of the time and things get messy. I always have too many projects in the works.
    Thinking of you as the two year anniversary is approaching. It is the three year anniversary of my brother in law’s tragic death.

  10. Bravo!! I didn’t even read a line in the magazine before I recognized your house! 🙂 What a nice full circle moment!! May the Lord bless you this year, bless us all. Warm wishes Edie!!

  11. I’m so sorry about your accident. That stinks right when you have tons to do at Christmas. I had to laugh at what your house really looks like because I can relate!! I baked cookies and bread yesterday for gifts. Made caramel corn too! Today I mixed up PW’s cinnamon roll dough to bake later. I finally cleaned my kitchen this afternoon and I feel sooo much better now. 😉 I also cleaned and readied my daughter’s room and bathroom for her and her husband’s arrival tomorrow. I couldn’t help thinking about your hospitality series!! What a wealth of information. Thank you!! 🙂 Hope you heal quickly and have a very Merry Christmas!!

  12. Thank you for the sermon links.

    Your Nutcracker ballerinas are so pretty. And oh, those party curls!! Last year, my daughter was a party girl with party curls. This year … more curls in a top-ponytail as an Arabian. Probably our last year of party curls … glad to be done with the nightly curl session, but sad to be done too. You know. 🙂

    Feel better!

  13. Your house is beautiful. I have done that more than once (three times, I think) – and not just on one leg. It is a common tennis injury, which is how mine occurred each time. I stretch and everything, and have even done it in a THIRD set before (which means my muscles were very warm when it happened.) Like a bb-gun to the calf (my partner even heard it one time!) They never gave me a boot, though – just crutches for a week until I could hobble on the ball of my foot. Sorry – no fun to have an injury right at Christmastime when you need to be able to “go!”

  14. I somehow missed the post about your injury. I hope you heal quickly and are able to do all you want/need to do in the coming days. I love that your sister and mom are helping you out. My friend had the same thing happen to her and she’s almost back to normal.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, friend.

  15. I am glad that you are feeling some what better Edie. I am so sorry though that you have to wear a boot. That kind of an injury is really painful and inconvenient all at the same time. You do make even that boot look good though :-). As far as your boxwood wreath goes, well, I guess yu ned ot just start pointing your finger and laughing at ME because, well, leave mine up all year round and just chaneout my bows. I mean, why not? Right? I absolute LOVE< LOVE your BHG featue. Your house looks so amazing and seeing this magazine is the next best thing to seeing your home in person. Finaly I wnat to say that I appreciate the message your pastor delivered about the CT tradgedy. None of it makes sense, but knowing God is working through so many to help in all of this is the only thing tht can bring peace and sustain the broken hearted. God bless you my dear friend and may your family have a very blessed Christmas!

  16. Thanks for those comforting words Eddie… This terrible tragedy has made the headlines even here in our tiny country, Luxembourg… Yes my house is a mess for the moment, I am behind with cleaning and washing… I am not surprised your house is feature in this magazine as it is truly a gem! I hope I can find it here somewhere, otherwise, I will have to ask my friend living in Virginia to get a copy for me!

  17. SHEW….I think I am feeling it with you Edie! The leg, ( been there), the full circles…ohh,
    The full circles after such events. We are alive, 3 yrs this coming C’mas Eve, having seen the
    MIGHTY right hand of the Lord deliver us from a NEARRRR fatal accident. Never wish to
    Hang upside down in a vehicle AGAIN! REJOICING with you in His almighty restoration of
    Your lives and home!! YOUR words have helped me, also, to refocus and RE-invent! And
    Oh how we need it!!! BIG, HUGE, congrats on BHG!! Glory!
    Blessings to you and ALL of yours !!

  18. Thank you for your blog, it is a treat! 🙂 I just said a prayer for you. May God give you quick healing, as well as patience and peace as you forgo running for a season. Blessings!

  19. Imagine the surprise and delight to find my husband’s words in your beautiful blog! It was such a terrible weekend for everyone, and him being the father of 3 young children, I know that he meant every heart-wrenching word of that sermon. I am so glad that Christ’s hope was shared here, and thankful that you have posted the link!
    A blessed Advent to you, Edie!
    -Kristi Lovett

  20. Oh thank goodness…..I was beginning to think that my house was the only one that was a mess…..I ran in the door tonight from work….knowing a friend was right behind me and looked around at our mess….all I could think was oh well……we live in our house! Thanks for sharing…..and feel better soon!

    Happy Holidays!

  21. I have been reading your blog ever since your fire. Yes, I could fit right into your style. I loved getting my Better Homes and Garden. Congrats on the feature.

  22. Hi there Edie,
    I have been following your blog for about a year now and I would pick up your home and move it up here to Canada if I could. What a lovely home. I am looking forward to reading about your home in in BHG. Right now I am loving those curtains that you have in your kitchen. Would you mind sharing where you got the fabric/name?
    Best wishes for your recovery and have a wonderful Christmas!

  23. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a happy Hogmanay when it comes Edie, the house looks lovely – will need to see if I can get a hold of a copy over here in Scotland! Hope your foot / leg is healing nicely – good excuse to wear your comfiest pjs all through the holidays!

  24. I’ve never seen a home more deserving of a magazine spread…congratulations! As for your injury, many prayers for a quick and steady recovery. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  25. What a beautiful…and true!…sermon. Thank you for sharing. Glad to hear you are back on your feet! The BHG spread is absolutely beautiful. I love your bold use of COLOR! So refreshing!

  26. Hi Edie, Hope you’re well soon. I just picked up the mag and your house is so lovely. BHG did a great job. Also, I’m so excited bout Nutcracker. My family will be there with bells on to see our girl dance too. Elizabeth is Marzapan this year. Merry Christmas to all of you over there in Bean Station.

  27. absolutely keep the wreaths up….they look perfect there! i have my boxwood wreaths in every window all year. love them~! congrats on the magazine!

  28. Hi Edie. So sorry to read you are hurt! I will be praying for you…I know ya can’t keep a good girl down too long……….”do anything for new boots”…too funny! So happy you have momma-girl and sister-girlfriend there to help you through the holidays! I know the families of the tragedy are hurting. That was a nice sermon….he said it all, soooo well. God never leaves us……we leave Him. Evil will always be in this world. So comforting to know He died so that we might live forever….in heaven where there will be no sorrows, no burdens, so sickness, no PAIN….(love your heart!) Your wreaths look gorgeous….probably would be good to leave them up….you know what looks good….you’ve got style! Love your little ones’ pics….and so glad you took the time to share your beautiful, lived in house…..even if you are hurt. Merry Christmas to you and yours, beautiful Edie. xxx ooo

  29. Oh, Edie, so sorry about your injury, get well soon, girl! And so excited about your featured in BHG. I am so happy for you and remember fondly our weekend at the cottage when we were talking about your photoshoot. Can’t wait to get my magazine now!! Merry Christmas, sweet lady.

  30. Been browsing your blog. And am now even more excited to sit down and read my BH&G magazine that’s sitting on my counter! Congrats for the feature!!

    And yes, you can leave your boxwood up year round! I do! I just change out the ribbon so it’s season appropriate!! I bought mine in the spring around Easter. So in my opinion, you’re safe!!


  31. Leaving a beautiful boxwood wreath up in your kitchen is exactly what you should do – you who “doesn’t follow decorating (and knows not) decorating “rules”. Boxwood wreath? Love. Therefore, by definition and declaration it is exactly where it should be for as long as it pleases you.

    Many, many, many hugs for you as you recover from your running injury. Although I’ve been told our 40’s are the new 30’s, I’m not sure my body has kept pace with the ideology! (Hence more analgesic, ibuprofen, and recovery time from gimpy outcomes of sanity keeping practices) So sorry for your discomfort and challenge – Grateful for the assurance that God is redeeming this new hardship for your good and His glory!

    And, yes, oh yes – Emmanuel. God with us – in the deep abyss of suffering where parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, cousins…where agony and pointed, sudden, and roaring grief cry out…He IS. And, He is with us.

    Finally- it’s you who’s done it. You’ve helped me crossover from leaving my BHG magazine in a cute but tucked away basket, to making it a full on coffee table book. Oh, glory. I think I’ll get a second copy so one can stay on it’s shrine and the other in my much loved and dog earred design idea notebook. Mwahhhh- right back atchya!

  32. best wishes for a speedy recovery! your writing made me laugh…..every bathroom, free water, run it in my sleep…..sounded as if I were writing it.
    running is also what keeps me going.
    Merry Christmas.

  33. Just wanted to share that I love using boxwood wreaths throughout the house on mirrors. I usually have a large one on the mirror over our mantle and will add a simple red bow to it in December. And I have hung them on bathroom mirrors and in windows. It is one of my favorite ways to add greenery to the house where there is little or no sunlight for plants. Have a blessed CHRISTmas time~

  34. Hi Edie-
    I just got my January issue of Better Homes and Garden and love, love, love your home!! It’s everything I hope our future home will look like 🙂 I love the eclectic-ness of it- it’s simply beautiful! I’ve just spent some time reading through your blog and about the fire- sounds like you are surrounded by some amazing, amazing people. God is good, even though we don’t always know what he’s up to and what His plans are!!
    Merry Christmas!
    Barbara Whiffen

  35. Edie, thank you for sharing the sermon. One of the best I’ve heard in a few years. Which, as I type this, breaks my heart. Oh to blessed with such words! And as all of the others have stated, your home is beautiful. I am jealous of your ecclecticness (sp)! And your ability to make it look beautiful in your home. I am to OCD to just display items just because I love them for fear they don’t “match”. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  36. Edie – I know your pain. I fought and healed from my own injury this past year….my plantar fasciitis that lasted a year and a back injury that probably came about because the plantar fas. took so long to heal. I hope you find healing soon. I know what it means to be down with 4 precious people to care for.

    Your blog inspires me and makes me want to drive to meet you. I was so happy, elated actually to open the BHG this month to find your article. You deserve it. You deserve to rise up from your ashes and become a stronger person. We strong women, warrior types always rise up and become better, better to serve our Lord.

    P.S. I love your quote about decorating, sounds so much like my own style!! I swear you and I could be soul sisters….the not finishing decorating all through Christmas, making Homemade tags and glittering pine cones, we are a special breed filled with so much to give to the world!!! Make sure you are giving back to yourself!!! Merry Christmas

  37. Hi Edie!
    I just found you through your amazing article in BHG and I think you are just precious, so I had to come say hi. Congrats on such an honor!! Your home is beautiful and I can already tell via the magazine and blog what a gift you have for hospitality. Thanks for sharing it with all of us out there. Sorry to hear of your injury. I understand, believe me – 2 major surgeries right after age 30 and I wore one of those lovely boots myself – couldn’t even chase or pick up my babies. Hoping for quick healing for you and a Blessed New Year!

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