the Emily

I want to start out by saying that I just simply can’t put this woman into words…I have truly never met anyone else like her…but I will attempt to capture a bit of who she is and share her with you.

Emily and I lived together in Thailand…we shared a great little apartment high up above the city with an amazing view that almost made you forget you were in the middle of a red light district…those years we lived together had an incalculable impact on my life. I learned so much from her, I grew so much through her, and I found so much laughter in our friendship.

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Wedding photos…I don’t think we’ve ever looked better

When I first moved to Thailand I moved into a room in a crazy house full of women who were constantly transitioning through…it was pretty exhausting…well, in this room was this homemade sign with Micah 6:8 written on it…

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

For the three months I lived in that room I would find myself staring at that sign, just meditating on those words, remembering why I’d moved across the world, what it truly was that the Lord wanted from me in Thailand…do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly…That truth got me through a lot those first couple of months…they were HARD!

Then, I met Emily!

She had been home in England for a few months, and I discovered I had been living in her room, and the sign that brought me such encouragement was her handy work.

Within a few hours of meeting we were looking for our own apartment and a few days later we moved into our sanctuary in the sky.

We had so much fun in that apartment, there are so many stories from those years…sometimes my son will ask me to tell him an Emily story, his favorite being the time she brought home bunnies in dresses from the market…we found lots of entertainment in our differences as an American and Englishwoman, escape in “24” marathons…why don’t they ever believe Jack!?! And adventure in just wandering the massive city together.

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We just went out to get supplies for milkshakes!!!

But, the most incredible thing I have taken away from my time with this woman is watching her live out Micah 6:8.

Seeing her selflessness when woken in the middle of the night by a drunk and hysterical woman ringing our bell…I was irritated by being woken and inconvenienced but not Em, she just cared about this woman…watching her stop and take the time to talk with broken and hurting people as she encounters them. Once, she passed a woman on the street who was obviously not Thai, homeless, covered in dirt, and smelled of poo, so she brought her to our place, cleaned her up…also one of my boy’s favorite stories because there was quite a bit of hilariousness that ensued…and then worked to get her back to her home country.

Today, I live in a home where things change constantly, where more people live with me than share my name, where people come to visit and stay for weeks and months, and where everyone is welcome. The Lord used this incredible woman to open my heart to this…to prepare me for setting aside my comforts and expectations and instead having a deep desire to love others with every part of my life.

I have never known anyone else even close to like her. Who so fiercely loves justice, who seeks it out on behalf of others. Who seems to walk around surrounded by a cloud of mercy. And who desires to live simply, humbly, and innocent of evil…I don’t know how she manages to spend so much of her life surrounded by evil and yet remain so beautifully innocent, but she does, it’s a beautiful gift God has given her! 

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Trying to design a piece of jewelry that captures all of this was difficult! I knew I wanted to use red because she had these great red jeans that were so cool…this was way before colored jeans were even a thing… and I knew I wanted them to capture the intensity, the fierceness of who she is…because she is FIERCE! But I also wanted them to be fun, and to sparkle a bit…because that’s who she is, this fierce, sparkly, fun woman! So I went with deep, rich colors, labradorite which has a bit of flash to it, and a unique wire wrapped look. They don’t do her justice…but I think they’re pretty cool.

It’s been six years since we’ve lived together…since we’ve lived on the same continent…I moved back to Colorado, she moved back to England. I have been so blessed to go to England twice in the last couple of years, so I’ve gotten to see her and spend some time with her. She’s doing amazing things there as she continues to live a just, merciful, and humble life…Check out Ella’s Home or message me if you want to find out more about what she’s currently doing in England to live out justice and mercy in the lives of women in England…and pray for her, for the women she works with, and pray about supporting this work.

Sometimes I sit back and think…I can’t believe I know this woman, I can’t believe she’s my friend…I am so grateful for her in my life, for who she encourages me to be, who she inspires me to be…When I look at her life, when I see who she is all I can think is…if anything is going to change the world it’s going to be people like her who love the Lord and live out His love!

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To purchase the Emily click HERE

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I Think I Belong In The Sky…

Sorry I disappeared there for a minute…the last couple of weeks have been a bit insane! Conferences, retreats, food tours, a reunion with a friend who I miss so much it hurts sometimes, big projects, weddings, and 3 am goodbyes. There has been excitement, celebration, joy, exhaustion, deep thoughts, tough moments, tears of joy and of sorrow, lots of laughing, and a few exhilarating moments of dancing…it has been a FULL two weeks!

But now I’m back, deciding what to share with you all, what hilarious story or big deep take away I have from all of this…but I just really want to share with you how much I love flying…and window seats!

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Banning, CA from the sky…didn’t even know there was such a place!

This past week I had the privilege of flying with a friend who is terrified of flying…privilege because I don’t get to see her or spend much time with her, not because she hates flying…but being on a plane with her reminded me how much I LOVE flying. I love being in the clouds, I love the science of it all…it’s really truly incredible that someone not only figured out how it would work but was then brave enough to give it a go…I get a bit freaked out during turbulence, but it also thrills me because this stuff that is all around us every day that we pay no attention to…air…suddenly is suspending me high above the earth.

I have spent a lot of my life in the air. As a child 8+ hour flights were something I took several times a year…now I’ve slowed it down to about once a year…and there was a point in time where I use to joke that the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere was in airport terminalsI enjoy sleeping on planes, and watching movies, reading, I love the opportunity to just kind of take a break from life…wifi on planes is ruining this and I will not participate! But the thing I love the most is staring out the window.

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Somewhere near Palm Springs, CA

I have whale watched from above, seen the patchwork quilt that is Colorado from the sky, seen sunsets from above…and sunrises too…I have admired the beauty of the Eastern US from above with it’s rivers and trees…so many trees…found myself overwhelmed by massiveness of Bangkok at night, and delighted in seeing Big Ben and the River Thames as we landed in London. 

I flew over the Alps once and thought to myself, those aren’t so much bigger than the Rockies, then I realized what I thought was snow covered ground was actually the clouds and I was suddenly in awe of how incredibly massive they are. My heart has leaped a thousand times in a dozen different places as I peered out the window and realized I was “home”…Venezuela was an amazing home to land in because as you touch down everyone would clap…but so was San Francisco with that runway that goes right up to the edge of the water so that you think you’ll miss the land until the very second you touch down.

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Palm Springs, CA …I love that my phone tells me where in the air I was!!!

So, I guess my big take away this week is that the Earth is really beautiful and incredible to watch from above, and flying is amazing…I am so thankful for all the flight pioneers that made commercial flight possible…my life would be so very different if they had let fear or disappointments stop them.

 

Check out what’s going on at Frippery House this week….

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www.instagram.com/fripperyhouse

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Say hello…

As promised I’m finally blogging about this summer’s EPIC trip…6 countries, tons of people, and 30 days is definitely once in a life time. I am going to start with the most unexpected experience of the trip…PARIS.

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I know this is totally abnormal, but I’ve never really had any desire to go to Paris. I’ve had opportunity to go to France a few times, but have always chosen to go somewhere else instead…I ended up in Scotland the first time and the Netherlands the secondI think it’s partially because I until I lived in Bangkok I never liked big cities…I had never really lived in one, so I think I was just scared…and Paris is a BIG city.

When planning for this summer, Andrew and I decided that it would be much more exciting to take the train back to England at the end of our cruise instead of flying, which meant ending up in Paris…which he was excited about. We shared our plans with my mom, and she decided to join us, then my sister-in-law and niece got on board with it, and even one of my brothers.

So, after a long and exhausting cruise…plus a couple extra days at the beginning and the end enjoying new and exciting places…6 of us boarded a train in Barcelona and headed for Paris.

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The six of us in front of la tour Eiffel

I feel I need to have a disclaimer here that I had very low expectations mostly based on stereotypes…it’s dirty, people are rude, it’s too crowded…but I had been given one small piece of advice, and that piece of advice may have completely altered my whole experience.

Say hello

Every time you walk in a store or restaurant, wether you think people can hear you or are paying attention or not…just say bonjour…that’s the advice I received from friends a few days before we headed to Paris.

So, I did.

I said bonjour to every person I encountered. Every store and restaurant we walked into, every counter I walked up to, every bus I got on…I said bonjour. And, you know what happened…I found Parisians to be some of the kindest and most friendly people…it didn’t get rid of the crowds or the trash but did I mention that Paris is a BIG city…I think that’s just part of big city life…

People were eager to help us speak French, helpful and patient with us when we didn’t understand. People were kind to us on the Metro, offering up their seats to weary travelers. When I was walking around looking lost, people stopped to ask if I was ok and if they could help. There was so much life in Paris…all those people sitting in parks talking and laughing and drinking…I was only there for a few days, so I am not any sort of expert on Paris or the people of that incredible city, but it seemed to me a wonderful place.

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This was one of my favorite things…sitting around ponds talking and laughing and watching ducks!

My experience there has had me thinking a lot about kindness. About how I engage strangers, and how I interact with the people I encounter in my daily life.

Do I say hello?

When I walk into a coffee shop is my first priority greeting the people there…both employees and customers…or do I walk in and say my order. I don’t think I am rude by any means…I don’t walk in and bark orders…and I’m very polite within what this culture says is acceptable…honestly people may find it very weird for someone to walk into a coffee shop and say hello to the room…but what if I took this advice and applied it to life here?

Would life change around me if I started saying hello? And not just when the cashier says it to me first, but initiated it, made eye contact, allowed it to lead into conversation…meant it the way I mean it when I see a friend.

Would I find just as much kindness and life here if I engaged people around me with this simple gesture? Because I think it’s more than just a gesture, more than just politeness. I think it shows a bit of humility, it demonstrates respect for the other person, an acknowledgment that life is about more than just me. And, maybe, in our culture of me, the simple act of saying hello is the kind of thing that Christ meant when he called us to be salt, to be light, to be in the world but not of it.

Oh, there was another piece of advice…to say au revoir…until next time my friend.

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Street performer tuning his piano…he just rolled down the street…in preparation for his performance in front of Notre Dame…LOVE this

 

Vacation is over…

 

We are home!!!

It’s been just a couple of days since we got back, not quite a week, and it’s good to be home. It’s a bit strange to wake up and not have my parents, my niece, my sister-in-law, or my brothers around. I miss them. I miss being on vacation…but then again I came home to no job…permanent vacation

Actually, no…vacation is over.

It’s back to laundry and grocery shopping, cleaning house, pulling weeds, paying bills…oh yeah, and starting a business. Yesterday I decided to jump head first into Frippery House stuff…and it felt a bit like I landed against a brick wall. Seriously though, I kind of just sat there for hours stunned and dazed. I was suppose to be writing product descriptions, but instead I spent about an hour staring at half a sentence on my computer screen…More than just an accent piece, the Faye… That’s not enough to sell the product…at least I don’t think so.

So, product descriptions will wait for another day. Instead I’m going to take some time to reflect on the trip, on the people I spent it with, and on the things I learned. It was an incredible time! I don’t know how much my son or my 9 year old niece will remember, but I will remember it always.

I learned a lot about myself on this trip. I learned a lot about my family. And, while it wasn’t necessarily all good…some of the things I learned about myself I didn’t really like…here is my biggest take away.

I have an incredible family.

 

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I have the most generous parents ever…seriously I would enter them into a contest if there was one. My father has energy that won’t stop, and my mom carries with her a peacefulness that we all benefit from. They’ve been married for ever, have lived on four different continents, have moved what I’m sure feels like a million times, have watched their children grow into adults…and all the good and bad that came with that…and now they are watching their grandkids grow up from a distance….for now.

They are the coolest!

Later this week I’m going to post my next Inspiration Page with a sneak peak at the latest design in Frippery House’s first collection!!!

 

London loves me…

I know that a place can’t really love me, but London does. Actually, it’s not just London, it seems to be places that are stereotyped as rainy and dreary…London and Seattle. Whenever I visit both places seem to put on a show for me, keeping the rain clouds and stormy weather to a minimum and instead displaying sunny skies with moderate temperatures…which nearly convinces me that I may be in love with them too.

I LOVE Colorado, but I hate not being able to sit in the sun. Some of you may be able to enjoy this luxury, but I get sunburns in the shade in Colorado…with SPF 300 on! So I love how when the sun shines here it’s just warm and you can stand in it and soak it up and it’s just wonderful.

Other than seeing my family and one of my favourite people Emily…who is so obviously the absolute best thing about any trip to London…the highlight of the trip was getting to go on the London Eye…it’s a giant ferris wheel over the Thames and it was incredible!

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Tomorrow evening all of us head to Venice to start our cruise…it’s so incredible how family grows over time, how the five of us have turned into nine, and then some day there will be even more.

You have an incredible week!

Leaving on a jet plane…

It’s here, it’s finally here! Today is the day that I board a plane to go to visit my parents…in England…for a whole month!

There are a whole lot of things to be excited about in that statement…traveling, England, vacation…but I think the thing I’m just the absolute most excited about is my parents…and the rest of my family of course. My husband is joining us in a few days, my niece is traveling with my boy and I, both my brothers will be there, and I get to spend a lot of time with my sister-in-law which I really enjoy…growing up with brothers I really enjoy having sisters now!

But, I really miss my parents, I miss having them in my life daily. So, I am looking forward to being at my parent’s house and not having to run around and see every touristy thing possible, but just living life. I’m excited to pick my dad’s brain about business planning stuff, and to talk with my mom about the creative stuff…she’s going to help me figure out my packaging because she is a genius with fabric and unlike me the sewing machine is her friend not her foe. I’m excited for my son to spend time with my parents, especially my dad, just hanging out at the house and really getting to know him.

Oh, and I’m excited for Ian and the boy to see London in the summer…I love London in the summer!

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London last time we were there…cold and dreary

I’m also looking forward to getting away. Life has been crazy piled on top of crazy with a side of busy shoved in. I haven’t had much time to work on business stuff, hadn’t sat down to make anything in my creative space for weeks! Until yesterday when creative inspiration struck!!!

I finished a piece I’ve been working on for MONTHS that just wasn’t feeling right…I had assembled, disassembled, reconfigured, started over from scratch, and then yesterday everything just came together on it. I also came up with two other designs inspired by two of my most incredible and unique friends that I’ve just been having such a hard time designing for…I want to design something not just inspired by them but that they would wear and they are just so cool I am crazy intimidated by this process. But yesterday, I was on a roll.

Now, I feel like I have a boost of energy I didn’t have yesterday…I may just be ready to take on the world today. Which is good because I have a LOT of things to get done before we leave this evening and even more to do this month while I’m gone. I just want to launch this business already!!!

Next blog will be from one of my most favorite places in the world…London…in the summer.