November

I think it’s time for another post. Things are happening around here.

I just finished up my student teaching semester. How did it go by so fast? I feel like I was just driving to my first day in the pitch black morning.

Someone reminded me the other day of how many changes and giant life moments are ahead for me, but for some reason, this hasn’t sunk in yet. I know these things are happening: graduation, my two-family Christmas, moving back home, planning a wedding, executing that wedding in April, moving to a new city/state, finding my place in said city/state, learning how to BE MARRIED…I think that’s about it for now. Why am I not freaking out yet?

For now, my focus should be on finishing up final papers for school. But instead my focus has been mostly on Etsy shop business. I probably drive everyone crazy posting about all of the new Christmas prints, but I’m just so excited about them!

IMG_9462Next week I’m going home and actually riding with my parents to visit my dad’s family in Kentucky. I plan on using that car ride to read all 19 of the books that I’m in the middle of. I’m exaggerating, but it’s seriously terrible how many books I’m currently in the middle of. After this, one book at a time. Maybe.

A couple of weekends ago, Ben and I had our friend Duane take some engagement pictures…we only have one back so far and I’m reallllly excited to see the rest! And by the way, those pictures are more awkward than they appear. The first thing Duane told me was to sit in between Ben’s legs. I just gave him a weird look. But what I learned is that you should always trust a Romanian med student. More to come later!

duane1I also had my sweet friend Michele Houston take some graduation pictures for me so I can send out some announcements. So, she obviously did a great job.

RachelGaddis_Finished-4 RachelGaddis_Finished-31 RachelGaddis_Finished-24Along with the end of student teaching has come extra morning time for me to ease into the day and feel no rush to get my quiet time done. Today, as I was doing the She Reads Truth study on thankfulness, I really felt like the verses hit home for me. Isaiah 40:8 –

The grass withers, the flower fades,

but the word of our God will stand forever.

and Job 19:25-26

25  For I know that my Redeemer lives,

and at the last he will stand upon the earth.

26  And after my skin has been thus destroyed,

yet in my flesh I shall see God,

The post talks about how as children, we think everything in life is permanent. We think this is how life will be forever. As we grow up we learn that people come and go, circumstances change, and your setting will be different. In college, I think we take on the opposite view as we did as children. Nothing is permanent. Your friends today won’t be your friends in a year. You won’t even live in the same apartment or dorm. You won’t be taking the same classes. I think I’ve been running  crazy circles around God for years and one thing I’m comforted to remember is that He has not changed at all. He remains the same everyday and will continue to do so.

Currently

I love a good link up! This one is with Dearest Love and In Residence! Here we go.

currently

Currently…

brave

Reading – I just finished Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle and it was a joy to read! She’s such a great storyteller. And it led to my discovery of her podcast, which was the perfect thing to listen to a couple of weeks ago when I was driving back to Athens from Auburn, AL. Next up, I am REALLY excited to read Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs. I’m waiting on my friend Jessica from Delightfully Unspeakable Joy so that we can read it together and have a mini book club sort of thing but I CAN’T WAIT!

Enjoying – my new room in my new place. Now that I’m living with my sister in her apartment (our apartment now) things are much different from living with three friends in our big Pineview apartment. It’s taking some adjusting on both of our parts, but I do think God arranged things just this way so that Jessica and I can live together and see what he has in store for us! And I have to say, I’m truly enjoying having my own bathroom and a more spacious room to work on Etsy products.

IMG_8321

Listening – Emily Hearn & Rend Collective lately.

Photographing – Product photos and mostly pictures of potential Etsy products that I will send to Lindsey for an honest opinion.. And I really love this picture I took Sunday night of my friend Kelsey looking quite adorable after she got married!

kelsey

Feeling – hungry!! And poppyseed chicken is in the oven so that’s about to change. 🙂

Odds & Ends

It’s been a while since I’ve written, but it’s been a pretty busy summer. One of the best things that’s been happening has been my and Lindsey‘s Etsy shop. Starting today, and lasting through this week, we’re offering a 20% off discount to celebrate our one month birthday!

Enter the code ONEMONTH when making your purchase!

 

Image

On a separate note, I discovered something really great today. It was one of those great discoveries that nobody really knows about. So I’m going to tell you. If you know me, you know that I have a passionate love for antiques. I love to find old things and give them new life! Thankfully, the south recognizes the greatness of antiques, but sometimes, antiques can get a little bit pricey.

I drive between Madison and Athens quite often when I’m visiting Ben’s family or when I’m babysitting in Bishop. The road that I travel is one of my favorite roads to drive on. It’s simple and peaceful, and there’s a few little places along the way that I think look adorable and intriguing.

Today, when I finished babysitting, I decided to stop by this little junk store called Reed’s Odds & Ends. It’s located right between Watkinsville and Bishop, so only 15 minutes away from Athens, if even that.

ImageYou can’t beat clean restrooms, right?

When I went in, I knew right away that I would like it. It’s the kind of place where you can walk in and know who “Reed” is within seconds. And he was a cute old man. He was watching TV Land. HELLO. This place was filled with amazing stuff! I left with some crocheted doilies, a couple of old post cards, and two amazing blue mason jars. They are the best. I definitely think it’s worth the trip over to Bishop to go to this adorable little hole in the wall. ImageImageImageThere’s still more to discover between Athens and Madison.. Thomas Orchards, where I plan to buy some peaches, the Farmington Depot Gallery, and a pottery shop in Bishop. Hopefully I can knock em all out before summer is over.

Etsy Find: Amaginarium

ImageI recently saw this amazing USA cork board on a blog giveaway, which I immediately entered, and did NOT win.. because Lindsey did! But I couldn’t let this one go. So I went ahead and ordered one, and I can’t wait to get it in the mail!!! I also ordered some cute little arrows to pin on wherever I have been.. or wherever I hope to be. Who knows?

I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

 

 

Summertime

It’s hot out, y’all. It’s getting hotter everyday. Why am I not at the pool getting a tan?

Last summer I wrote about resting during the summer since none of my initial plans worked out. I was worried that it would happen again this time around, but it’s actually quite the opposite. I don’t know how it happened, but I have managed to stay busy almost every single day of summer. So far. I have only managed to carve out one day to lay out by the pool! That’s just an outrage.

But you know what? Being busy is rewarding. I work almost every day of the week for a company called Plant Partners. They supply the flowers and other plants to the garden centers of Wal-Mart. So, what I do is, I put on this hideous lime green vest that says “What’s Growing On?” on the back, I lace up my heavy duty boots, and I hang out in the garden center all day long. I’m supposed to be unloading shipments and rearranging things to make it look more beautiful for the customers, but a lot of times, those things have already been done and I come with nothing on the To do list. But overall, it has been really rewarding. The Wal-Mart employees are extremely sweet and cool, and I get to hang out around flowers all day! And that’s pretty therapeutic, even if there are psychotic birds swooping down from the beams above.

The Etsy shop is off to a good start. We’re really trying to not get quickly discouraged. The first day, we had a solid amount of orders. Since then, it’s quieted down a lot. I think both of us wanted to freak out and start worrying that this was a mistake and no one wants to buy our stuff. But if we gave up now, we wouldn’t have been in this for the right reasons. Therefore, we carry on!

IMG_3695I just love Steel Magnolias so much. There are so many quotable lines in it. I was just trying this out to see if I could do the blending of the two colors in my letters. But now that I think about it, why didn’t I blend blush & bashful? 😉

I tried making some bridesmaid cards last night to possibly sell in the future. What do you guys think? Lindsey and I agreed that we need to create things for our target audiences. People around my age are getting married. People her age are having babies. So now these things are in the works.

IMG_3688

What’s on everyone’s summer reading list?

Somehow, even though this summer has been one of my busiest ever, I have managed to get a lot of reading done. My love for reading has been reborn again.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

jesus-is-find-a-new-way-to-be-humanbreadandwineshaunaniequistfreefall    loveology

1. Jesus Is by Judah Smith. I pick books to read based on a couple of things. One, I always judge a book by it’s cover. Who doesn’t do that? I’m sorry, but all of these books have great covers and all of them are awesome. And two, I take recommendations from people who I think are cool. And I definitely think Lauren is cool. She posted about this book last year, and I was immediately attracted to the cover, so I bought it. Yep. But guess what? It gives the coolest perspective on who Jesus was and is as a character. Judah Smith is a down-to-earth writer. I read it last year and had to re-read it again this year. And I never do that.

2. Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. This was definitely a keeper. I took this one from a recommendation by a girl whose blog I’m kind of obsessed with. And her name is Rachel as well! The book is so beautifully written. It’s really a collection of stories of how love can happen around the dinner table and how community is centered around it. I was hoping for more references to Jesus and different stories of him gathering around the table with his followers. But it was still inspiring, none the less. It’s also a cookbook. Pretty cool.

3. Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons. This is definitely my new favorite book. It was another recommendation by Lauren (she clearly has amazing taste in books!), and just a few pages into it, I knew it was going to impact me. It’s about finding your gifts and living in the present instead of trying to push things away to get on to the next step in life. I don’t know about you, but I’m very guilty of that in my life right now. Everything seems so temporary to me that I have just been trying to rush through it. So often, I find myself thinking things like, I’m just ready to graduate. I’m just ready to move on to what’s next in life. If I just get there everything will be fine. Nope. This book encourages readers to pray for God to keep them in the present and serve Him where we are at. It’s definitely one I’ll have to read again soon.

4. Loveology by John Mark Comer. Once again, a book recommended by some friends who were telling me about how they were going through this one in a Sunday school class. I don’t think people realize how seriously I take book recommendations. If someone mentions a title and I think it sounds interesting, it’s very likely that I’m going to research it and probably buy it. There’s nothing like a good book! And this one is really good so far. It’s about God, love, marriage, and sex. It’s perfectly blunt, just the way it should be. I definitely recommend this to anyone who has questions about these things!

What are you guys reading this summer? AKA give me some ideas for my next one. 🙂

 

 

Grand Opening!

This is pretty exciting. Today is the day. OUR ETSY SHOP IS OPEN!!!

Check it out.. now.

Image

I’m nervous but excited to see how this will turn out. It has been prayerfully considered for a long time. It’s been pretty interesting planning this from different sides of the country. There have been countless texts and trips to our respective Michael’s stores and conversations that include venting and frustration over scanning and printing. That was a whole adventure in itself. But thankfully, Athens Printing came through and really helped me out. It’s rare to find a company that actually goes above and beyond what they’re supposed to do to make you happy. It was definitely a blessing when they finally handed over 300 prints of my cards!

 

Yesterday was a great day. Instead of being lazy and sleeping in (like I really wanted to), I got up and went to the Farmers Market with Claire and Emily. I got some beautiful flowers and and this print from my favorite Etsy shop owner.. besides myself and Lindsey of course. 😉

Image

Image

And then last night, I got to see two wonderful people get married! It was the sweetest wedding, and it was clear that Matthew and Hannah are two people pursuing the Lord in everything that they do. The whole event felt very relaxed and fun. And we had breakfast for dinner…what’s better than that?

Image

Image

Hannah and I have gotten a lot closer since volunteering with the Cubbies (3 and 4 year olds) at Awana together at Oconee Heights this year. When we first started, I was very hesitant. I didn’t think I was going to like little kids. Even though I’m majoring in early childhood education, I tend to steer away from the little ones because I didn’t think I was meant for them. Hannah and I ended up having a blast with these children! They were more fun than I ever expected. I think that since we are both future teachers, we bonded over learning from these kids and the way that they do life. Since that experience, I’ve felt like God was teaching me that I can really learn to love little children just as much as the older ones. And then, of course, I happened to be placed in a kindergarten class for my student teaching next semester. I’d like to consider this all as a part of God’s arrangement. I’m excited to see what’s in store!

Since Hannah has also been super encouraging about the Etsy store and my products that I’ve made, I had to make her something as a wedding gift. I’m so excited about it.

Image

 

So that’s what’s been up lately! Please check out our shop. Spread the word! And most importantly, pray for us to keep Jesus at the forefront of our minds in everything we do!

Coast to Coast

Some exciting things have been happening lately. It really all started with my friend (who happens to be Ben’s sister) Lindsey. We have bonded over our love for crafting since the beginning of our relationship, and we both happened to share the same lofty goal of creating our own Etsy shops. We even joked around about creating one together someday, maybe when we were living in the same state again rather than on different sides of the country. But a few weeks ago, she texted me and told me that she felt like God was telling her to act on this now. I told her we should go for it. Something about it feels right. I have the tendency to have great ideas that I talk about and dream about, but am constantly saying that it’s not the right time for that. It would succeed more in a few months. It would be too much to handle right now. But with Lindsey’s enthusiasm, I realized that there truly is no time like the present. So we’re currently in the process of creating an Etsy shop that will sell watercolor prints and greeting cards with different designs and lettering.

We’re calling it East West Design Company. Lindsey lives in the west and I live in the east. I think it’s just kind of awesome.

logo2

We really don’t know what we’re doing, to be honest. We’re nervous about failing, but excited at the possibility of succeeding and this becoming a bigger thing. We’re just learning as we go, all while living 2500 miles apart.

A cool thing that I came across in God’s perfect timing was a blog called Life Lived Beautifully. In her post from today, she gave the exact encouragement that we needed.

I am here to write to you, struggling business owners, big-dreamers, entrepreneurs with large ideas and small funds, that owning a business isn’t about success, followers or money.It is about the glory of God and becoming a woman after His heart. It is not about building self-esteem and accomplishing great things to put on your resume. If this is your purpose, you will quit a month or two later when the business doesn’t grow exponentially and you feel extremely vulnerable after putting your heart out for the whole world to examine. It is about greater things than mere resumes, it is about the kingdom of God. It is about being usable and useful to spread the Gospel in a unique way. It is about doing all things to make much of the name of Jesus. God doesn’t give us a platform to share trivial, fleeting things. He wants you to use a megaphone to proclaim His excellencies to a world that doesn’t know Him or value His worth (whether you have five followers or five-thousand.)

I don’t think it gets any more clear than that!

I’m excited for this and I hope you’ll love what we create! Here’s a preview of some things we’ve made so far:

IMG_8308

IMG_8321Lindseyproof3

IMG_8306

lindseyproof2

lindseyproof

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, too!