As I write, it’s Tuesday.  Probably the most unexciting day of the week, but for me, it’s special.  It’s the one day in my week that I have the house completely to myself for a while.  Husband working, one son at school, the other two at Grammie’s house.  No sounds but the air pouring through the vents and the dryer going.
I used to run errands on this day, but I try not to now.  I need the quiet more.  I work but while I work, I process, I listen, I think.
And He talks.


While I work with my hands, my ears are more open I find.  I think that applies to a lot of different circumstances.  You hear and process a lot when the hands are busy.  That can be a gift and a curse depending on what you choose to listen to and I don’t always choose well.   But lately I’ve turned off the morning shows and chosen to listen to podcasts and favorite authors-turned-keynote speakers.  Good choice, I think.

A few themes and ramble-y thoughts I can’t get away from:

–too much.  have too much.  consume too much.  spend too much.  tired too much.  urgent ruling too much.  important dismissed too much.  too much of things that don’t matter.  This is a theme that comes back to haunt me over and over in my life and I can’t help but think that’s because it needs to.

–them.  those that have too little.  too little food.  too little clothing.  too little safety.  too little family.  too little needs met.  too little noticed.  too little held.  too little loved.   I think about them and it wrecks me inside.  Over and over it does.   Josh and I cry.  We pray.  We ask.   Then the urgent and the stuff come and crowd in again.

–repentance.  more prayers.  more tears.  we’re sorry.  help us.  listening.

–making room.   carving out for quiet with Maker.   shoveling out the too much.   pressing down to stop the hemorrhage.   pressing through to see past the urgent.  pressing in to hear the Sweetest Voice.   pressing out hands to receive His help.


Not a lot of knowns and not a landscape view of the future.  But these few steps in front of us?  We know.  We know the first steps of obedience He calls us to take as He kneels in front of us with arms stretched out.  We know He’ll catch us.  We know we’re safe, though the first stepping is always hard.

And you?  In the quiet with hands that are busy?  What fills your head?   What do you hear?

Do you see Him knelt down in front of you with arms outstretched?  Do you know that you’re safe?


Whew!  I’m happy to see Monday today, because Monday means that I have a little time where I don’t have to be anywhere for awhile and can pull myself and the house back together.

After a weekend of laundry, haircuts, baby shower, dinner with family, church, advent calendar making and being reunited with my parents after their 10 day trip to Israel….I’m ready for this Monday quiet.

Let’s say hello!

Hello October

It’s starting to feel like fall around here.  Chilly mornings warm up to sunny afternoons in the 70′s and crisp clear air.  I LOVE fall in NC.  But…if you’ve been here long enough, you know that you can’t always count on it to stay that way right off the bat.  Today we head back into the 80′s.  The weather this weekend was so perfect, I think I’ll forgive it for being a little all over the place.

Hello to switching out our clothes.

I’m not gonna lie…I dread this task.  I got through  Zoe’s closet and now there are bags and bags of clothes in our hallway waiting for me to do something.  Where’s Mary Poppins when a girl needs her?!

Hello girl time

A couple things like wedding dress shopping and Mexican food with some great women is on the books for this week.  I’m a fan.  Zoe’s not meeting my girl-time needs yet.  {She’s in quite the, um… phase lately.}

Hello crunch time

Allume {are any of you going?} is just around the corner and right after that is the Kilgoris Marketplace.  Have you been to a conference before?  What do I need to do to be ready? I’ve heard about having plenty of business cards on hand and roommate gifts but that’s about all I know.  And by the time I get to Allume, I need to be pretty much ready for the market.

Hello to fall food

I saw an idea for pumpkin, apple soup with bacon in my Food Network Magazine.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  What fall foods are you making right now?

And so what are YOU saying hello to this week?


Saturday we went to a farm with our community group.

Think:  wide open spaces, sunshine, pumpkins, cider, corn pits to play in, tractor rides and ice cream.  It was wonderful.  In some ways, it was just what I needed.

Hello Marketplace week

Managing my stress has been such a challenge for me.  In the big picture of life, this week isn’t even worth a mention….but right now, it feels like Everest.  My to-do list isn’t even that bad and I’m not really behind.  There’s just a LOT to do.  I need to press in to Jesus as my source right now, but I struggle to not just charge on to the next thing.  Does that happen to you?  How do you stop the urgent from taking over?

{PS…if you’re local-ish to Charlotte, come see us this Friday {5-9pm} and Saturday {9-9pm} at The Kilgoris Marketplace! It will be at Kadi Fit and there will be cupcakes, coffee, beer, food, music and lots of fantastic handmade wares. I’m really excited about this event. Come say hi to me!}

Hello Sassy

Josh’s grandmother, Sassy as she’s appropriately nicknamed, turns 99 this week!!!  I feel so overcome with gratitude that I’ve gotten to know her over last 10 of those years.  She is independent {still lives by herself}, sharp as a tac, fiesty and funny….and has lots of stories to tell if you’ll sit down and ask her.

 I sure do love that lady.

Hello Halloween

I’m not gonna lie.  It’s my least favorite holiday and I’m pretty much always happy to see it go.  Just call me the halloween scrooge.  But we’ve taken the kids trick or treating the last few years {mainly to get to know our neighbors better} so the boys are really excited about being ninja’s and I can’t wait to see Zoe dressed up as a little pink owl.  Holidays like this is are so tricky for me, but we’re aware of our kids, we have lots of conversations and for now, we’re ok with what we do, knowing that we can change it whenever we want. What do you do?

Hello Soup and Bread

I looooove soup weather.  Pumpkin, tomato, chicken chili, pasta fagioli, vegetable and minestrone.  All served hot with big chunks of crusty bread.  And speaking of bread, I’m ready to start baking again!  It’s been awhile and I remember how centering it is to just measure, pour, mix, knead.   Oh, and the smells!  Mmmm. Do you have any go-to soup or bread recipes? I’m always on the hunt for new ones, but this knock off recipe for Great Harvest Bread Co. honey wheat bread is my favorite.

What are you saying hello to this week?


Want to start from the beginning?  Here’s Part 1.

Back to the worst summer ever…

I was perusing Etsy one day and everytime I saw something cute I thought, “I could totally make that. ” {You guys do that too, right?!}  Keep in mind that this was pre-pinterest days so etsy was where you went to get ideas like that.

I had made a few things before and decided to try it.  Wanna see one of  my first creations?

I know.  My shop has changed quite a bit.  But at the time I was so excited that I jumped on etsy, picked out a premade banner and set up shop with about 5 items in it.  I will never forget clicking that button.   It was July 24th, 2010.  We had to run out the door right away and as we were driving to Josh’s parents house I just remember the feeling that I had just embarked on something bigger than I knew.  Hope was setting in.

Three days later, I made my first sale and over the course of that next week, I sold 3 more.  I certainly don’t think that’s always the case when you open a new shop (I mean, look at how blurry those pictures are!), but it was the clarity I needed to go in a new direction.

We crunched the numbers and came up with an amount I needed to sell each month in order for me to replace my part-time teaching pay.  I worked my tail off in August…researching, reading the etsy forums, learning how to take better pictures and write, tag, price and publish my items to get the best results.  It was trial and error, but a few weeks into August I took a leap of faith, emailed my boss and resigned.  We were doing this!

It’s 2 1/2 years later.  I’m past 1700 sales and close to 139,000 views to my shop.  I can honestly say that I’ve worked harder than I ever did at an outside-my-home job (I’m a really tough boss!).  There have been highs and lows, crazy seasons and dry seasons and I’m still learning a ton….but it has been THE best decision for me and my family.  I’ve never been happier or more fulfilled in a job before.

This journey has definitely not made us rich and it hasn’t saved us from feeling stretched financially at times.  My mother-in-law graciously watches my kids 2 days a week so I can get everything done and I always feel like there are a million things to do, but you know what?  I really love it.  I love the flexibility in my day and being with my kids.  I love being my own boss and making my own decisions.

And I love using my brain to create.  It’s what I was born to do.  So what’s next?

Welp.  I have some big dreams!  And this blog is part of it. I certainly feel the gap in my own life where I long for community and sounding boards and mentors in this business. A big dream of mine is to be able to provide a place for that here. I also feel the growing pains of getting to a place where I am at my personal capacity and it’s time to expand a bit….but I honestly don’t know how it will all play out.  Kinda exciting, huh?  Wanna come along for the ride? I would so LOVE to have you, friend!

I want to write much, much more on this subject so if you sell handmade goods or want to, I’d love to hear from you!  What questions or advice do you have?


Independent.  Doesn’t follow instructions.  Doesn’t like to be bossed around.   First born.  Likes bossing others around.

Hi. I’m Dana.  Nice to meet you.

The fact that I would want to own and run my own business shouldn’t surprise me, but it has.  In fact, this whole idea was really just born out of my desire to stay home with my kids.

I have a degree in music education and taught music for 5 years.  By 2010, my husband and I had 2 boys and our schedule suffered with all the commuting to childcare, work, church and home.  My week was so broken up, I never felt like we had a consistent day.  Bottom line?  I wanted to be home with my boys and be able to set our schedule so that it served us.

That summer, my husband and I experienced the hardest financial period of our marriage.  It felt so awful at the time.  My husband, also a teacher, always works during the summer at another job and it had fallen through.  Our van needed a new transmission and we had had 2 wrecks earlier that year.  Our summer savings was gone… and yet, in the midst of all our panic, I had the audacity to dream of being able to quit teaching and stay home.  I know.  Very logical.  I am a picture of practicality.

I still look back at that summer with a little bit of  ”did that really happen?”  I would love to never go through that again, but the way we watched God provide for us is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.  Money and help came from the craziest places and without us asking.  It showed us how much people loved and cared about us.  And how God can bring resources out the most unlikely places.

What does this have to do with my shop?  Stay tuned…but in the mean time, have you ever dared to dream for something in the most impossible of circumstances?  What was it?