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It Isn't Always Pretty

 The first good snowfall hit and our historic neighborhood is a glistening wonderland.
Heavenly hosts, and all that. 
But through the doors of our drafty home things are not always pretty.  Sometimes, dare I even admit, the cohabitants are downright ugly to one another.  There are times the pretty decor is overridden by the weeds of homeschooling and creating.  There are times that the kitchen is disgustingly dirty.  There are times when illness hits.  I think that all of the above have applied to our home at one time or another over these last couple months. But something quite unexpected happened last week and I'm not good at talking about it.  I don't know why, because I'm good at talking.  About almost anything.  

But when prayer is needed, it's time to speak up.
Many of you have met my parents at our market events.  We host The Vintage Market at their home.  Most of you know that I am very close to them.  We eat Sunday dinner together every week and talk on the phone everyday. So I'm sure you understand the rattled-to-my-core feeling at learning that my dad has been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer.  "Six months, if left untreated" the oncologist says in the middle of lots of big words I didn't understand.  I find myself falling apart, tripping over pieces of me as I'm trying to keep everyone else together.  

We are still preparing for a lovely Christmas and praising God for all the family coming to visit and the beautiful things about this season.  We are laughing when we can laugh, trimming the trees, hanging the holly, and loving the freshly fallen snow.  We are playing Christmas music, enjoying the twinkling lights and reminding the kids that Jesus is why we have Christmas.  We are creating and baking and conspiring about gifts.   
But it isn't always pretty.

If you would pray for us, we would be so grateful.

The Farmstyle Wedding

 Because one of the biggest things in my life as mom occurred in the last month, I have to brag a wee bit...
Canvas by Serendipity Refined
photo by me

photo via my son, Noah
Rehearsal dinner on the farm - just one fence away from where the ceremony took place. 
We prayed "You've calmed the winds before..."  and the prairie winds that had us worried all day were gentle breezes by the start of rehearsal.

Farmstyle GPS

Anticipation from the bride's tent

 Mitch's bride and his mama (in the reflection)

The week before the wedding, one of the bridesmaid's dresses hadn't arrived but unbelievably we were able to find a very close match at the mall.  And I loved that Haley wanted all the moms and grandmas wedding dresses hanging in her tent.

 The bride and groom's sisters as flowergirls.

My guys - the groom and best man on the right.
I'm still not sure where this super cool old limestone building is.  The wedding party took off down the road in Mitch's pick-up truck for a few minutes after the ceremony.  It was an evening wedding so we had limited daylight to work with.  Our friends, Bob and Karmen and Kim, did all of the photography as a gift when our scheduled photographer had to back out at the last minute. How they got so many lovely photos in such a short time frame is a miracle.

My little guy, the vow bearer 

The amazing bouquets and boutonnieres were created by our hugely talented friend Kim!
Roses, pinecones, raw cotton and burlap - all freeze dried so they will last forever.

The wedding was held on the bride's grandparent's farm.   Karen did a great job of adding all the little touches!

Their prayer
In the midst of all the romantic decor, THIS is what it was all for!
Thank you, Father, for creating these two for each other.

 "The Plot Thickens"

Our menu was chili, cornbread and apple pie but the kids had a cutting cake and we added in some fresh things from the farm.  Friends & aunts pitched in with pasta and fruit salads.  There's no such thing as a "simple" wedding.  =)

Wash stand near the port-a-potty

Bing Crosby's "I'll Capture Your Heart" gave a vintage note to the DJ's table.

Our dance - My boy remembered the song from his childhood.
"...'Cause somewhere in the course of this life, my little boy will need a Godly wife - So hold on to Jesus baby wherever you are..."  
I held it together (sorta) all day until that moment.  If he hadn't been holding me up, I would've been reduced to a puddle right then.

Candlelight dinner - Good thing too because the generator was persnickety.

We hand dyed all the girls ruffle wraps.
It was c-o-l-d after the sun went down.

The bonfire was the perfect place to take a break from dancing.

I'm dying to show you all the decor and props that we poured ourselves into for the months leading up to the wedding!

But we had a couple special guests that are going to show you all that.
We are incredibly honored to be part of Fifi's new book Prairie Style Weddings!

Many, many friends gifted items for our big event.  I can't even begin to thank all of you for the help with food, photos, watching my kids, and the gorgeous handmade items!!!!  You are an immeasurable blessing to us.

For more photos and details... Keep an eye on Fifi's page for the release of Prairie Style Weddings so you can see all the beautiful handiwork of our friends in this vintage industry.

Wedding photography by:
Bob Bryer Photography
Serendipity Refined

The Vintage Market!

The Harvest 2013 Vintage Market is right around the corner!
Sept 20-21 9:00-4:00

 Lots and lots of NEW vendors!
Don't worry, many of your favorites have returned too!
We are growing by leaps and bounds so we have selected a new (and permanent) Harvest location with a meandering pasture and lots of room to grow.
Very conveniently located just 3 miles from Cherryvale Mall. 
*3 miles off I90 and 2 miles off US 20* (Get Directions here)
If you are coming from out of town and need to book a hotel, here's a link to local hotels, and restaurants.

Glampers, you are invited to camp FREE on our event grounds!
Show off your vintage glamping style!

Do you have a vintage camper that you would like to sell? Promote it free at The Vintage Market!
Just contact me so we can save you a space. 

Vintage & Handmade shopping
Vintage Campers
Food & Music
It's going to be a lovely vintage weekend!

Keep an eye here and our facebook page as we begin announcing vendors, sharing sneak peeks and counting down the days!

September 20th-21st
9:00 - 4:00

Flying the Coop

 My little boy is flying the coop soon.

It's going to be a  most spectacular farmstyle wedding!
And the weekend after the wedding, our spectacular wedding props will be at the Vintage Market in a very special Harvest Wedding tent.
We are so busy that I think my arms might fall off.

Amidst it all, a mama is letting go... and yet... gathering in - a new daughter into our fold.
I can't even put to words how much I love this boy and his girl next door or how happy it makes me that they love each other.  My heart is doing things it's never done before.  So you'll have to excuse me if I'm a little twirly these days.

On Being Off The Grid

 Other than the super fun Nellies Barn Sale, we have been somewhat off the grid.

 So what fills our days if we aren't doing sales? 
 A little of this.
He brings a smile to my whole life.  Seriously, it comes from somewhere deep and washes over me.  Not to be confused with exhaustion, which also washes over me.  

A little vintage wedding planning.
3 months and counting.  We have a whole room dedicated to wedding stuff.  We have HUGE plans and a small budget so we are creating and painting and spending lots of time on Pinterest.  Hmm... not so different than doing the shows after all. 
A little (very little) fluffing of the house.
Funny how the house isn't getting any cleaner.  Mr. Blessing has been very diligently cleaning the basement so that our oldest can come home for these last few months before the wedding.  Other than that, not clean.

Perhaps on the face of it, what with the business of life replacing the business of money, it may not seem like it but parts of me are healing.   When I overhear my 10 year old saying to his sister, "I love that story in the Bible where it says..."  When my daughter runs to whisper something in my ear.  When my 15 year old sings lullabies to the baby.  When my son and his almost new wife have dinner with us.  And when I get to kiss a baby's palm.  There's healing in those moments.
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