You can go ahead and call me Ellie May Clampett, what with me hauling couches down the interstate and trying to keep from being impaled by a chair sitting very precariously in the passenger seat, all the while holding 3 chickens. Okay, it was one sofa and I wasn’t holding chickens, but it wouldn’t made the trip anymore stressful. I loaded up the truck and
moved to Bever-lee headed to Charlotte to IKEA so we’d have a little furniture at the cottage while we work and paint this week. And maybe so we’d have cute pillows and throws too, but whatever. Necessities are necessities. Going to IKEA is like having a baby. Without a trained professional. Or an epidural. You forget the pain and suffering because the fruit of your labor is so wonderful. But for now, IKEA and I are still not on speaking terms. They may have mastered the market on spartan Scandinavian decor on a dime but they need a lot of work in the How about you load 2 rooms of furniture into your car and then ratchet strap the sofa to the top yourself department.
Also? I may have wrenched my back and pulled my groin and in general lost ten years from my life. It’ll all be worth it this week when I start on phase 1 of this little project.
But the next 3 or 4 hours made up for it all because I made a date with my friend Myquillin.
I cannot even tell you the emotions that welled up in me when I walked into this kitchen. There’s is something so special about the incarnation of things. When things we love become real in the flesh—whether it be friendship or quartz countertops or strawberries and pound cake. The afternoon that I spent with Myquillin was the highest gift a friend can give another—time, connection, love, and iced coffee. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. She was my first love in blogging. The first blog I found. The first time I stayed up until 3 am reading every last post. The first time I found the most kindred of spirits through my internet screen. She is so dear to me and has inspired me in every possible way. I am so blessed and thankful for how she shares her creativity and passion.
Here are a few things I learned in my afternoon at the nest.
1. Making time for friends is always worth the effort.
When I knew I was heading to the Charlotte IKEA, I immediately thought of her. I so wanted to find a way to meet up but I was on a time crunch and I knew that things would NOT go smooth at IKEA. (This ain’t my first Scandinavian rodeo.) I knew I was trying to do too much in too little time. That’s WHAT I DO. That’s WHO I AM. And when I was standing at my car with the daunting prospect of loading a sofa onto the top by myself using ratchet straps, I almost called her and told her I couldn’t make it. I was exasperated.
But, I took some deep breaths (remember this is like labor) walked back into IKEA and bought a bottle of water and regained my composure. I texted her and told her that as soon as I could get out of the 12th circle of hell, I’d be right there. Or maybe I told her to give my best to my children and my blog readers in case I never made it out. I finally made it!
2. Focus on the people
This was hard for me because I wanted to stare at and touch everything in site. Her place is such a feast for the eyes. But as much as I love her gifts, I love her even more and so we quickly settled in to easy conversation and lots of laughs. I want to get better at making people feel special in my presence. She made me feel like an honored guest and I wish you could have been a fly on the wall because you’d love her even more than you already do.
3. Go Big or Go Home
There is plenty of TODIEFOR style everywhere you turn, but I noticed that many of her chotch-keys (my spelling) are large.
And y’all. Her office?! Heavens TO betsy. I could live in there.
And there’s a bed, so maybe I shall!
4. Leave room in your life for the best things.
One thing I noticed right away is that she has a lot of cleared spaces. As in, she has plenty of surfaces with NOTHING on them. Why is this so hard for me? I do not know but I can tell you that anywhere we wanted to sit down and have a chat, we could do it without rearranging anything. It’s as if her space was ready to take us in. Welcoming us by having room for us to just be. And you know what else? She does the same thing with her life. She leaves margin. For friends to stop by, for 4 wheeler rides, for afternoon chat with her boys, for cooking. She makes room in her life for the things she loves.
5. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
You probably already know that his is her motto for life and the tagline for her blog. Did you know she really believes that? She’s made that phrase famous and has been saying it for as long as I can remember. And to see her fully embrace it and live it out? Pretty priceless. She and Chad bought this farm knowing that it would take years to make it their own. But she chooses to focus on the pretty parts and enjoy it WHILE improving it, not waiting until it’s done to see the beauty.
She’s coming out with a book this April and I couldn’t be more excited. You’re gonna LOVE IT. It’s a book all about home and how we can learn to love it with all its imperfections.
You can preorder it here. Not only did she write the book but she also did all of her own photography. It’s simply amazing!
And let me just give a HUGE shout out to Chad, who was so dear to undo the mess I had made of the ratchet straps and fix it for me so I could make it home without a hitch. My husband was VERY grateful. Thanks so much, Chad!
(I met her adorable boys too and let me just say that I can see why people like the arranged marriage thing.)
p.s. While I’m away at the farm this week turning our cabin into a modern, rustic country retreat, I have some of my besties lined up to guest post!!
I’m so excited to have them here and I know you’ll enjoy them. Show them lots of love because guest posting can be a little nerve wracking.
I’ll have very sparse internet, so I’ll see a little here and there, but mostly next week!
Sending all our love from the mountains,