It is always exciting to sit at my computer and write for you. Visions travel into my head as I think about the reader. Today is an ordinary day for us as a family. Mike and Kaitlin are working at his engineering business. Savannah is all tucked into bed while I sit at my computer with a fresh cup of coffee. My office is a mess from the last party we hosted with papers scattered all over my desk, school books piled everywhere, and a to-do list that is about to eat me up. But I would not have it any other way. My piles and messes means progress for me. The busy lifestyle is what keeps me strong. Occasionally I have people ask me what I do all day, that makes me laugh and feel like screaming (in a very dignified way). My mess and scattered lumber in the yard is progression. It wouldn't be there if I was the bon-bon queen. As a woman I feel that my house is a reflection of who I am. It defines my personality, love, and sometimes inner turmoil. When my home looks like a tornado hit then you will know that the treehouse is clean, the yard is mowed, and product is on the shelf.
Our holidays can be filled with the stress of family, cooking, money, driving, flying, eating too much, shopping, loneliness, frustration, confusion, STRESS STRESS STRESS. Do any of these apply to you? My friend is just now starting to be okay with Christmas. She has tons of grandchildren and the question is what to get them on a budget. Money is very tight and who knows what a 16 year old wants when you only see her a few times a year. This is a deep seeded stress for her as well as so many others. At the end of the day that 16 year old is just thinking about going to mall and texting her friends. The gift was nice but it is just stuff.
Sitting at the breakfast table yesterday with my daughter, she asked me how I like my birthday gifts. I told her for the 10th time that I love it. She said “Mommy I gave you two gifts”. Oh poop! Two gifts? As I looked at her, with my mind running around like a dog chasing it's tale trying to remember the second gift. “What could it have been?” I know she bought me perfume, but what else? She quickly caught my attention and said “Mommy do you know what the second gift was?” “ No Baby, I cannot remember.” “It was a HUG! That is the best gift that I could give you Mommy.” In my mind I envision myself being presented with the 'Loser MOM of the year award'. Looking into my daughters eyes I tell her that was the best gift ever and when we hug we give our love to another. Our hearts touch for a moment and we truly embrace each other. What a blessing that is but so easy to dismiss it.
Go hug a neighbor, a tree, your pet, or yourself. Embrace those small moments like it is the last time. Let the messes in life go and throw that stress out the window. Think about what you remember most about the holiday. People don't look back at your Christmas dinner and say..Did you see how those glasses sparkled? What was up with that speck of dirt on her carpet? Why did she have paper napkins and not cloth? Most think about that amazing bite of food, the laughing as Uncle Mike balanced a chair on his chin. For one second, time stops....A camera in your mind starts flashing pictures of the faces around you. The laughter, joy, and happy tears that everyone is experiencing. That is an intense memory and something that people will forever talk about. It is the feeling that people hold on to.
May your holiday be memorable and wacky.
It is our ability to share in one common emotion, that brings us together as people, that separates us from every other species. Love. It is our desire to feel it, express it, touch it, and embrace it. But how do you describe it? A feeling so deep down inside that it embraces your entire being, and yet shines outwardly for all to see.
I had the opportunity recently to watch a beautiful love story play out before my eyes. While browsing an airport gift shop recently with my daughter, Savannah, a common occurrence for us as we await my husband's homecoming from yet another business trip, we were intrigued by the site of a handsome young man dressed in military dress blues carrying a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a pretty pink envelope peeking out amongst the arrangement.
“Oh thank you for the lovely flowers!” I exclaimed in my usual playful way of getting people to interact with me. As we laughed together over such silliness, I asked who the flowers were for. I was immediately captured by each and every word that came from his lips. My heart embracing every tidbit of his love story. He proceeded to tell me that while in service overseas he had married a beautiful woman from the Philippines. But shorty thereafter was sent home and sadly had to leave his bride behind. After a difficult year away from each other, she was finally able to obtain her visa to the United States.
This marine's new wife had never even been away from home in the Philippines, and now was on flight to live her new life with this man in the USA. Caught up in this young man's adventurous tale, I was not about to let him go. I had to see this love story of his unfold. “Do you have someone here to take photos of her arrival"? I asked. He explained that he had driven over three hours to get to the airport, and his phone had died on the way. I told him that I would be honored to take their photos and wrote down his email address to send them to him.
I appreciate the honor, respect, and courtesy that we extend to our military men and women, but when an airport official offered the marine a chance to wait behind the doors for her arrival, I was devastated. “NO!” I was screaming in my head!!! “How could he leave me?” I didn't want to miss the chance to see her face at the very moment that their eyes found each other. As I stood on the other side, my husband walked through the sliding doors, (that is what we were there for, right?). Our daughter ran up to him with her arms spread wide with uninhibited joy in her greeting. I said “hello my dear, I love you but I must take photos”.
As we continued to await the arrival of the overseas bride, I started sharing this unfolding love story to others in the airport waiting area. People were so intrigued by their story that the crowd had built up to paparazzi size to greet the young lady. Although after nearly two hours of waiting, the crowd had dissipated, leaving me as the last woman standing. And it finally happened.... After watching the doors open and close time and time again, there she was. My eyes flooded with tears as I watched the shy young bride take her first steps into a new country and fall into the loving arms of her long awaited love.
Magic and love filled the air as I tried to capture every moment on my little cell phone, of a genuine blushing bride hiding behind her sweet bouquet of flowers along with her handsome groom and a smile as big as Texas.
Welcome to the USA, where in Texas we are kind, respectful, and the boys say “Yes Ma'am”.
I'm always intrigued to hear how couples first met. Some don't even like each other right away. Then you have those that found love at first sight, or maybe it was the first kiss. But eventually they seem to figure out that it is love.
But how do they know? What is love? What pushes that guy so far over that edge? What makes a woman say that he is the only one for her? Everyone has a story. Each story may be wrapped in different paper, but when you open the book we find the same words written inside.... “We just knew”. They felt it, saw it, dreamed it, or had a vision. The power of love. What an amazing gift from God.
Our guests say they can feel it on our farm. Love is so powerful that people can feel it the moment they set foot on this beautiful land. The grass may not be cut, and the farm may be in it's many stages of construction, but people say they sense the love that made it our home.
So what is love? You tell me....it is a different feeling for everyone but it is all the same. Go right now and call, write, email, text, or scream it over an intercom....I LOVE YOU. This is the best joy in life.
We are here to love and be loved.
With Great Love,
The Lavender Chick
I must admit that I was a young lady that spent her young adult life walking around in circles. What am I going to do? Who am I going to be? Should I go to college? I had no clue about life or what was out there. I ended up getting a corporate job and working my way up for many years. Considering I had no college education, I felt like I was doing well for myself. I finally got to the point where I stopped asking Mom for money. I had never realized that being on your own came with such a big price tag. I worked my way up to Marketing Director and then Realtor.
My life as I had known it, came to a screeching halt. From cute little city girl, to marriage, a child, and 13 acres. It was my Posh to Oh My Gosh moment. My fields became an incredible journey, personally and spiritually. As my dreams and visions became a reality, people soon began to feel the love and positive energy that was poured into this place. (Although I sure hope they didn't have to see too much of the sweat). I hear comments from customers like..”This place just feels like home”, “I can feel the love that was put into this place”, “I feel so inspired by all of this”, & “Do I really have to leave?”...And the list goes on. These words go straight to my heart. It gives me hope to keep me going on and to create more.
Is it all sunshine and fresh blooms? Nope! Sometimes it's tears and frustration and I wonder, "where do you go from here?" It is these times that I tell plead "please tell me that this will go well" to my husband. His words of encouragement and peace is what turns my tears into hope.
I always want to remember that God has blessed me with this family and farm. I was given a blank slate and it is up to me to create something from the heart. My husband Mike and I created and nurtured this vision, with every desire to pass it on to you. Seeing your enjoyment and the love that you share, is what keeps us motivated.
We spend many nights together, dreaming and planning the next great idea and wondering if and how we can achieve it. We look at each task as an adventure and we just can wait for the next one.
Many people go into life not knowing what to do with the blank slate that they were handed. When I was 20 years old, I couldn't see what to do with my slate. I just followed what Society said was right. I followed the rules and worked for the corporate man. It was educational and sometimes fun. But today my vision is so clear and beautiful. Things come to me and then they become reality just so the world may take a memory, vision, friendship, love, hope, inspiration, creativity, or just to see something really cool.
What do I do for a living? I LIVE! Never stop looking at that blank slate. Even if the slate is full of social stuff, bills, relationships, or garbage, you can clear all of that away and start with the beauty that has been given to you. It is within you. Go look at the clouds or drive to my farm to look at the stars. I pray you will find just what you are looking for.
It is with great pride that I call myself a farmer. It requires early mornings, long hours, and lots of nurturing to both plants and animals. In the end there are no guarantees that all of your hard work will actually be a success. You just have to keep waking up, putting your boots on, and reminding yourself to have faith.
When nature decides to bring a tornado down on your house, it's not a surprise that you don't wake up to find the aftermath as bright and technicolored as Dorthy did when she landed in Oz. In one instant all of the love, hard work and devotion that you have poured into your home and your farm can be destroyed and there are no amount of words than can describe the emotions that one goes through in a situation such as
We were all set to open our doors for the new season when a tornado hit our farm. I will never forget the sound of my boots against the wet floor of our silo store as we tried to assess the damage in the dark. There was nothing we could do except wait for morning and begin to re-build.
What we never could have anticipated is the outpouring of love we would receive not only from our neighbors and loved ones, but from complete strangers as well. Together we began the long process of restoring what was lost. It wasn't until we had finished a long day's work and were praying together than I realized that what we had lost was nothing compared to what we had gained.
Our cup runneth over with friends and blessings. We were able to witness first hand the kindness and selflessness of others. Angels do truly exist on Earth and we have been blessed to have met several of them and to have worked beside them as we have started to put our farm back together.
Whether you believe in luck or not, most of us have all dared to wish on a star or have thrown a penny into a wishing well or two. Hope is the driving force in life and it pushes us through the bad days and inspires us during the good. We have to have hope and faith that good things will come our way and that the sun WILL rise and shine tomorrow.
When things DON'T go our way, it is easy to throw in our hats and just consider ourselves as unlucky. I've even heard some people say: "If I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all." My opinion is that we don't need luck anyways. We have to have enough faith in ourselves to make our own luck and to always have hope for the best.
Each and every day that we wake up and are able to begin anew is a lucky day!
Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. ~Albert Einstein
It is the season of love once again! Valentine's Day is just around the corner and the stores are filled with bright pink and red hearts and candies to remind us to pick up that special something for that someone special. Doing homemade Valentine's Day crafts with my daughter is the highlight of the season for me. It is important to remember that it is not what you get, but who you are and who you spend your time with that matters the most.
We all have certain hopes and dreams when it comes to our ideas of love. But no matter what your view point is, it all comes down to what you are willing to put into it and your willingness to never give up. Sometimes plans don't always work out the way that you expected them to. That happens a lot in life. It can either knock you down, or it can make you even more determined to succeed. If you are really lucky, those will be the moments in time when love will succeed the most. Love is not just a battle of one or two people, but it consists of an army of many. Our friends, our spouses, our family, our children... love can be the foundation built by MANY people all at once.
My farm is a foundation that was built on the love of many. It started with two people meeting and falling in love on this very land and it grew from there. My first field was well planned and thought out. We planted our lavender following the exact directions that experts gave us. After my flowers were place into the ground, I would personally go out with a 5 gallon bucket and water each one individually with care and precision. Even though I did EVERYTHING I knew to be right, my crop failed. Then I had to plow over that field and began again. And AGAIN. Yes, my crops failed for a second time and it was time for the third round.
When I called up my best friend with the news, I could tell that she was heartbroken for me and she asked me if I was really upset. I told her that I wasn't and I meant it. Sometimes it is about the journey more than it is about succeeding. Personal success is gained from experience and the strength that we find within ourselves to keep going and having faith that we will eventually reach our goals in God's time (not always our own).
For the third time around, that was when love truly conquered all. I sent out an invitation for people to help re-plant. We called it a planting party and there was no pay other than a good lunch offered. Our family, friends, neighbors, and people we didn't even know before that day came out to help. Row by row we re-planted the dream that had begun with just my husband and myself.
My little army of love had a truly miraculous day filled with joy, laughter, hard work, and even some break time to appreciate the canvas of clouds above us. And our crops grew. They even over-achieved in growth and production. My dream was a success because of love and a faith that kept me believing enough to never give up, even when it would have been easier to.
If you would, I encourage you to take time out this season to appreciate all of the people who love you and who will always support you when you need them to. Sometimes it takes more than one or two... sometimes you need the whole army to get you through!
There is nothing more frustrating when things don't go your way. It is even worse when things go HORRIBLY wrong. We have all made mistakes. Our human nature is to react to the problem in the ways that we deem necessary at the moment that they are happening. Logic has a tendency to escape us more often than we would like, and all we can do is dust ourselves off and make the best of what we have been dealt with.
My husband had a moment like this not so very long ago. He was driving along our road, minding his own business when a horsefly of death came barreling at him. He tried to reason with the horsefly and to explain that he was a husband and father of two beautiful girls... but the horsefly could not be reasoned with.
Mike then did what any reasonable man would do in a life or death situation with an evil horsefly: He took his hands off of the wheel and bravely ran our truck into a tree, effectively totaling it. My heroic husband even allowed that villainess horsefly to escape with his life. The extent of my husband's forgiving nature is forever boundless.
Meanwhile... our truck was totaled. And we JUST got new tires. It was a very depressing situation if we would have let it be. But we didn't. Bad things happen sometimes. We all make less than intelligent decisions (no matter what your IQ is).
My husband didn't get mad and defensive. And I didn't get resentful and derogatory. Instead I got on my big green tractor and pulled my husband's truck out of the ditch. I may have been a LITTLE excited to have him tell the world on camera that it was ME on MY tractor pulling him out of his less than ideal situation... But as you can tell, he was a terrific sport about it. This mistake turned from something bad, into a funny story and a happy memory that we will enjoy for years to come.
Life is what you make of it. We have to take the bad with the good. Without the dark, we couldn't appreciate the light. And without the bad, the good would go unnoticed. Every breath that we take is a gift, and we cannot waste it by being angry or wishing that we could correct mistakes that we can never fix.
My advice to you is to just laugh it off, jump on your big green tractor, and dig it.
My Name is Gwen
I am a woman of contradictions and a believer that you can do anything in this world as long as you dare to be inspired.