Oxford and the Bahamas.

We are marketing a hotel in Oxford, AL. If you have never been to Oxford, it’s really no big deal. Small. Old. But not historic old. Like 1975 old. A few gas stations and a Starbucks. Oh, and a Western Sizzler. I’m sure you are getting the picture.

Brad went to visit and take pictures this week. As the general manager was walking him around, they made small talk. As they walked by the pool, Brad jokingly asked her if she ever skipped work and just jumped in the pool. She laughed and said ‘no.’

As a matter of fact, she didn’t even know how to swim. She dreamed of going to the Bahamas but yet she didn’t know how to swim. She knew what her goal was, yet she wouldn’t even know what to do once she got there.

Funny huh?

The other funny thing was that she had never been outside of Oxford, AL. Keep in mind, Oxford is about 45 minutes from Birmingham and about an hour and a half outside of Atlanta. Close to several large cities.

So when I say she’s never been outside of Oxford, she has literally never left once. Not for a vacation. Not for a week. Not even for a day.

She’s 36 years old.

I find that story so sad. I know that so many people, myself included, are doing our part to help starving children, orphans, homeless people and whatnot. We help the people that have needs and that is fantastic; it’s what we are supposed to do.

But I feel myself drawn to this lady. This lady that has food, water, a home and a decent job; yet she seemingly has not really lived.

I get that. It makes sense to me. I know how it feels like to be there. And in many ways I was and still am ‘her’.

I connect with the people that are emotionally and relationally imprisoned. Some consciously and some subconsciously. While their immediate needs are met they (sometimes) forget to learn and go hard after life.

You just never know.

Maybe they drive a beat up car and work at a hotel. Maybe they wear a power suit and drive home in their Lexus.

Neither is right or wrong, I’m just saying it looks different.

There’s more out there. There’s more to see. More to do. More to learn. More life to live and more of a Savior to know.

So whatever your goal is in life; go for it. I mean really go for it. And learn along the way.

Because it sure would be a shame to get all the way to the Bahamas and not know how to swim in that beautiful water.

Shop Talk: Fabric, Furniture and Cash.

Hey guys! I hope you had an awesome weekend! Mine was great. I feel like Brad and I tried to cram as much as we could into two days! But all in all it was a productive weekend.

I wanted to show you a few places I went this weekend and let you in on one of my secret places to shop. If you don’t like to sew or do home stuff, this is going to be boring for you. However, if you like that even a little bit, then you are going to want to visit this place.

Before I get to the shop talk portion of this post, I wanted to show a piece of furniture that I wanted VERY badly. Brad had a meeting in downtown Griffin on Saturday morning. Griffin is a little town about 20 minutes south of our house. They don’t have alot of big box retail (Target, malls, Starbucks, etc.) but they have some great quaint little shops that I just adore.

Sadly I didn’t take a lot of pictures, but here is the piece I fell in love with. We are looking to decorate our dining room soon. It has been empty for quite sometime. I didn’t want to just fill it for the sake of filling it so we have taken our time. That, and I want to save up and buy what I really want, not just something that is mediocre.

Anyway, I saw this buffet/mantle looking thing and I really liked it. Not everyone’s taste, I realize, but I thought it had a lot of character. Hand made, probably from the early 1930’s.

I wish you could have heard the squeal I made when I saw it (by myself mind you). They thought I was crazy! :) Anyway, it was $650 and that’s just more than I would spend on something like this. Granted it was beautiful, but it had to stay in the store.

Moving on. The place I wanted to tell you about, especially you Henry county girls, is called American Mills. It’s in griffin and is such a random place. Not very nice and you definitely need to wash your hands when you leave, but you can find some great deals!

They have aisles of bedding and pillows. Here is a row of just seat cushions. Some are indoor/outdoor, and some are just throw pillows. Most are between $3.99 and $8.99!

Here’s a few aisles of the reems of fabric.

So many! They probably have around 160 reems of fabric. Most of them are priced around these price points. Which, if you have ever looked at fabric, is dirt cheap.

I was looking at some fabric in the Ballard catalogue (you should request a free one if you don’t already get it) and it was around $34 a yard. Yikes! When you need around 12-14 yards for drapes, it certainly adds up.
I bought some fabric that was being discontinued for $.99 a yard! They only had four yards, but I got it all. I also got a set of King sheets and a burnt orange table cloth for my fall decorations.
As you can see from the total, cheap!

Ok, so here is a sneak peak at the fabric. I REALLY like it. I think I am going to change out the drapes in my living room. I just threw the fabric over the rod to see if it worked in the room.

I like the ones I have, and actually got the fabric at American Mills, but I just like this new stuff a little better. It’s a little shabby chic and actually reminds me alot fabric at my most favorite store.

The colors I think will be more subdued and blend nicely with what I am going for in the living and dining room. They both connect and are very open so I have been trying to think long term and not just, what can I use to get something up on the windows. (Which is the way I normally think. Shhh! don’t tell!)

So there ya have it. If you live near Henry county, you should totally check out American Mills. You might not find anything, but then again, you might fins tons of stuff. :)
So there’s my shop talk for today. I’ll post again when I have the drapes complete. It just didn’t happen this weekend. Sorry!
Hope you had a fun and productive weekend also!

I know.

I don’t want to look so I glance away.
I don’t want to look because I know what I’ll see.
I don’t want to look because I know that if I do I might actually have to do something.
If I look I will no longer be able to say that “I didn’t know.”
If I look away then I think I have released myself from the job I have been placed here to do.
Maybe if I just sit right here then they won’t look at me.
Maybe if I just sit right here they won’t want to look at me.
Then I’ll be off the hook.
But I’m not.
I know I’m not in the deepest recess of my heart yet I tune it out with my music, my blackberry and my car that has an air conditioner.
I know I’m not successfully muting them because even if I don’t hear their tears or their pain, I see it.
I see it when I get up early in the morning.
I see it when I am on my way home from work.
I see it when I am trying to go to sleep.
I see them.
And I am compelled to do something. Not because I looked away. Not because I can’t sleep at night. Not because I looked.
But because I know.

It’s no big deal.

Have you ever been in a situation where the circumstances might not seem like a big deal to anyone else but they were totally a big to you?

I had one a couple of years ago. (Well, I’ve had a lot in between, none that I feel comfortable enough sharing on the good ‘ol world wide web. Thanks for understanding.)

Brad and I were engaged. I was about to graduate from Samford. Had a job at a church in the area. Had a house. Basically everything was set up for our new life together.

So I go to the doctor to get a prescription for birth control and they do the lovely exam.

And she found a lump in my breast. I’m 22 at the time. About to be married to THE one. And she has the audacity to tell me there’s a lump. In. My. Breast.

*Gulp*

So, of course you go see a breast specialists and blah, blah, blah.

I was scared.

Of course the first thing I thought was: “I have cancer, they are going to do a mastectomy and I’m going to be a bald bride with no boobs.”

I’m a powerhouse of faith I tell you. ;)

So in between my mental freak-outs, I had enough sense to try to cover up my fear. You better believe though when someone asked about it, even my parents and Brad I said ‘it’s no big deal.’

But let me tell you. It was a really big deal in my mind. Really big.

I wanted to be brave. I wanted to be strong. I wanted to look invincible.

But I’m not. And that’s ok.

Saying “It’s not a big deal” doesn’t change the fact that some things in our lives really are big deals.

Hiding and living in denial helps no one. And it hurts us and our inner-self more than we realize.

So if you are hurting or facing some big deals. It’s ok to call them out and acknowledge them. Because no one can come along side you if they don’t know what’s going on.

Talk to someone. Tell someone your story. Tell them about your big deal.

You’d be surprised at how it feels more like a small deal when you are done.

**The “lump” was actually my ribs. That should give you a self esteem boost ladies. :)**