Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Updates on life. The good, the bad and the U.G.L.Y




First things first...this past weekend I held two Pumpkin Sessions at the farmstead!  We had amazing weather and great crafters.  When we planned the pumpkins as the craft I made the mistake of having my husband assemble the sample set for me without trying to make one myself.  After I booked the sessions I decided I would try and make a set myself.  Um, yeah, couldn't do it.  So....in all fairness to my crafters, we (the husband and wife team) assembled over 150 pumpkins the past 2 weeks.  We may have finished just as the women were pulling up on Sunday for their session....just maybe ;)

We really had great weather.  Not very windy so spray painting worked well.  Seriously, these ladies were just so fun to be around.  Some of them got crazy with their color choices and totally blew me away with their pumpkin variations.  I just added another pumpkin session in case you couldn't make the first two.  You can sign up right HERE  OR if you have no interest in coming to a session or making a set and you want me to do it for you...I can do that too!  You can order your own set of MADE pumpkins from me HERE.

We were are not crafting at the farm we are at some sporting event.  We have 2 playing soccer, 1 playing football, 3 playing volleyball, 2 in ballet and 2 tired parents.  We love love love to watch our kids play sports.  One of us is highly completive and does a lot of yelling at the sporting events.  One of us is quiet and just watches.  I'll let you guess who is who.
I have been practicing my photography more and more.  I have done 2 family photo shoots now and I would have to say I am pretty proud of myself.  I still need a lot of practice.  I am no professional.  However, I am loving being able to take pictures.  Who would have known that one 6 hour class would change my storytelling and photography forever.  If you have a DSLR camera (not a point and shoot one) and you are interested in taking the same class I took....you are in luck.  My friend, Jill Ann, is teaching another photography session on October 17th.  The session takes place at her home in Oconomowoc, WI.  You can sign up HERE for her class.  It totally changed my life.  If you just want more info you can go HERE.  If you sign up use the code WILKE25 and she will give you $25 off the class!  Shaaaaaboooooommm!!!
 I am so excited to announce that I will be airing on FOX 6 Real Milwaukee again....like 3 more times!  I KNOW!!!  I may or may not have screamed super out loud when I got the email from the producer.  I am pretty sure she thinks I am a crazy lady.  Anyways, I will be airing on October 15th, November 12th, and December 3rd. I KNOW!!!  Clear your schedules. Take off of work.  Set your DVR's....come along with me!  What an incredible blessing and what an absolute joy to be able to use my talents in a way I truly LOVE!!

And then there are my teeth.  I got the call.  I got the estimate for the damaged teeth.  I almost puked. I have to get the estimate from my tooth I need pulled yet.  I plan to wrap up that tooth and give it to the kids for Christmas.  Merry Christmas children!  I am giving you the gift of your mother having teeth so you won't be embarrassed to know me. I am pretty sure they already are a little embarrassed!

Ok and then this happened.  I cannot tell you the last time we took the kids grocery shopping.  We usually do it as a date night or I go solo.  This time we thought it would be "fun" to take them.  Yeah...not so much.  We had 3 carts, each being pushed by children under the proper age of cart driving.  We basically looked like a circus going up and down the aisles.  We cut people off.  We blocked shelf upon shelf with our train of carts.  We fought over who got what in each cart.  At the check out one of our children rammed the cart they were pushing into an innocent bystander waiting in line to check out.  She banged her knee on her cart and was having trouble bending it.  Yup.  Never. Again.  I apologized and then remembered why we try not to go out in public often.


And then my poor finger.  See that lovely bump?  (this would be the U.G.L.Y part) On my middle finger?!?!  I have had this bump come and go for the last few months.  Over the weekend it got really painful.  I had to pay a visit to the doctor yesterday.  Is it a cyst?  Is it a blood clot? I won't even tell you what I think it is...cause you will all really know how crazy I am then!

 and finally...these are two of our upcoming Christmas Craft Sessions!  If you wan to sign up, you can go to my Etsy Store.  There will be limited space for each session as these require quite a bit of prep for both my husband and myself!  I am also booking private sessions of these so let me know if you would like to get a group of ladies here to craft on your own!


Ok and something totally random.  I seriously just had the Kirby people stop at my house.  They handed me a packet of tide pod things and started giving me the "pitch."  They asked what room they could clean for me today.  I told them we have all hard wood floors.  (which is totally the truth).  By this time his assistant lady had already run to the car to get the Kirby out of the van.  So the guy asked the women if she knew how to use the hardwood floor attachment.  She didn't know how to....so they asked for my sample pack of Tide pods back and left.  I am still a bit baffled by the encounter.  Why do they hand you something and then ask for it back?  Do you really think I am going to buy your thousands of dollars Kirby because you gave me a packet of Tide pods that would last our family 2 days?  I feel like if you don't know how to work the machine you are selling on all types of flooring then maybe you should learn that before going door to door!  I know that is their job and I really did want to help them with their "demo" goal for the day...but I am not gonna let you in my house if you don't know how to use the machine you are selling!  End rant.  :)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

How did we get so old so fast???


 Last night was interesting.  Like, seriously.  I'd love to tell you that Dan and I got super crazy and went totally wild and went to a concert and just danced all night long.  But, that is not totally how our evening went.

Let me back track a little bit.  In May we attended a Need to Breath concert in Madison.  Now, let me explain this...that was probably the first concert we have ever been to like that.  We are not concert going people.  We like to stay home.  I HATE loud music.  I hate the feeling of the bass pumping in my chest.  I am a very picky music person.  Anyways, Need to Breath had 4 opening acts that night.  I guess that is what happens when you are a popular band or something.  4 opening acts.  It took them FOREVER to get on the stage.  After the first 2 opening acts I was a little bit irritated.  Seriously, we have kids at home to tend to and a dishwasher that was more than likely clean and needing to be emptied.  Enter....Ben Rector.  He was one of the 4 opening bands for Need to Breath and from the first song I knew I that he was gonna be a new favorite of mine.  Every song he did, I loved.  Just him and the piano.  That is my kind of music.  I know....so boring.

Anyways, we came home and I downloaded his music and now I know all his songs.  Every lyric.  Yup, that's how much time I have on my hands...or that is how much time I spend in the car driving kids places.  So just before Dan's birthday a few weeks ago I accidentally landed on his website.  I almost died.  He had released a new album and I had NO idea.  That is how on top of things I am musically!  I was pumped.  Somehow I figured out how to download his new album all by myself.  (usually that is Dan's job....that is too much computer figuring out for me)  Again, every single song I loved.  Then, I saw he was going on tour.  I secretly prayed he would only be playing in Florida so I could have an excuse to drive down there and surprise our friends that just moved there with tickets and we could all go on a double date.  Well, he wasn't playing in Florida.  So that wasn't an option.  And then it happened.  BEN RECTOR....PLAYING IN MILWAUKEE, WI.  What what?  I was SO excited!  I sent Dan this text...Hey, Ben Rector is coming to Milwaukee on Sept 23rd.  Would that be a good birthday present for you?  He replied...If it means going on a date with you, then yes.   I know...he's pretty awesome.  Guess what?  Dan got Ben Rector tickets for his birthday!!!!!
 The concert was last night.  We got there early because that is how I roll.  I was already panicking because we weren't the first ones in line.  It was general admission so "seats" were first come first serve.  Ha...seats.  So we climb up to the top of the Turner Hall ballroom and walked in and there were NO seats.  Hold up....where are the seats?!?!?  You mean we have to stand the entire time?  Had I have known that I totally would have worn my comfy shoes.  We did see a few small tables with a chair or two by them so naturally, like super old people, Dan and I sat down.  I would say we were part of the "older" crowd there.  There were some people that were clearly older than us...but there were a lot more people that were younger than us.  So we let them do all the standing and we sat and people watched.  We were "so" lucky to have two sets of over affectionate couples right in front of us.    Seriously, I believe we both wanted to barf at one point.  The couple directly in our line of sight were all. over. each. other.  Hands were going places that they shouldn't in public.  Constant rubbing.  Hair petting.  Shall I say more?!?!  I, of course, had to take some pictures!
 I am really truly happy that they are so in love.  I have never really been a big fan of PDA's and I guess I am still not.  If we weren't so comfortable in our chairs we totally would have moved!  It almost made me feel bad that Dan and I weren't all over each other... almost.
 We sat through the opening act of Judah and the Lion.  We had no idea who they were.  We googled them as they were playing.  I was glad I had a lot of people watching to do while they played....they sounded good, but just not my kind of music.  We couldn't' understand a word the head guy was saying.  I told you we are SO old.
 Finally, Ben came on stage.  It was great.  He was amazing.  And, we actually stood for the entire time he played!   I know he might not be your choice of music style, but he is basically the only artist I listen to besides K-Love.  It was a good show.  He sounded awesome and he is a really good song writer.
 After the concert we left right away because we are old.  The place was super trendy.  So not us.  We are parents of 7.  We were up way past our bedtime!  We scooted out and drove home and went right to bed...that is how crazy we are!
I am glad we went.  It was nice to be out, just the two of us.  It was nice to get a taste of all the different life stories we all have.  Some people fresh in love making sure everyone sees it.  Some people dancing their hearts out without a care in the world.  Some people with a drink in their hand socializing and not paying any attention to the music.  Some people sitting at a table still madly in love realizing that they are part of the old crowd now.  (that would be us)

And there you have it....aren't we crazy?!?!?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What an Exciting Day!


 Well...where would one start if they appeared on TV this morning?  Ummm, yeah.  Did that really happen?  What a thrill!  What an awesome experience... and what a blessing!

 I got home around 8:45 last night after my late night shopping for an outfit and that is when it really hit me that today was the day.  I stayed up until almost midnight updating things and prepping and planning for the day.  On top of my TV appearance today, I still had 7 kids to tend to this morning as well as 3 daycare kids making their way over.  Dan helped me load up the car and we were off.  Dan took the kids to school, one stayed home from school, and a friend of mine came over to watch my daycare kids so I could be a TV star for 3 minutes.  It took an army to get everything working smoothly this morning.  I brought along two friends to help me unload and set up...and let's be real...make sure I actually drove myself to Fox 6.  It really helped to have people to talk to so I wasn't constantly thinking about going on LIVE TV!!!
 What an amazing group of people they have working at channel 6.  Everyone was so friendly and welcoming.  I tried to get anyone I met to switch spots with me, but no one was having it.  I got more nervous as time ticked by.  I tried to rehearse what I wanted to say....btw...I said nothing I rehearsed.  I got called back to the broadcasting area and before I knew it the segment was over.

 We set up the desk.  I got my microphone on.  Everyone was SO calm.  No one was running around flustered.  Isn't that what you imagine?  People rushing to get to their places and panicking?  Or is  that just in my head?  Angelica and Nicole walked in just about 30 second before the segment was going to air and all of a sudden there was a count down.  Whoa....hold on a second!!!!  I didn't have time to process what was going on and how fast it was moving so I just went with it.  Right before I headed in my sweet hubby sent me this text " I'm praying for you that you are not nervous.  Just be yourself!  Everyone loves you, especially me!  And boom... that was all I needed.

I fumbled some words.  I said "um" way too many times.  My voice sound super high.  I could go on and on picking apart myself, but I am NOT going to do that!  I was just SO blessed by the entire experience.  

Never in a million years did I think that this would happen.  I am having a hard time expressing just how much this meant to me.

 I tried to soak up every second of it and remain calm.  Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better TV appearance experience!  I can't even believe any of it!



 Thank you Fox 6 for allowing me the opportunity to do this.  Thank you to everyone there that put me at ease.  I am available for an anchor desk position starting tomorrow.  I will wait by my phone for the call!  ;)  Thank you to all of YOUR support.  So many friends and family reached out via Facebook or text.  That was so encouraging to me.  For someone who isn't always comfortable in her own skin, you guys really helped me feel special.  Thank you to my friends who came with me and made sure I actually went.  Thank you to Lynne for manning the farmstead while I was away...and for folding my laundry!  And...most of all, thank you to God!  He has just been so faithful these past few months when I have been so doubtful.  I may or may not be back on the news....stay tuned!

Today I will be on TV....


I didn't sleep at all last night.
Today I am going on TV.
How did this happen?
Will I mess up?
How did I get here?
Will anyone watch?
Are the crafts good enough?
Will I get lost?

I did a lot of reflecting last night on how I got to the point of being on TV.  What started as a casual conversation between 2 friends has turned into reality.  Do I have it all together?  No, I don't.  What I do know is that I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams!  Fridays at the Farm was something I had dreamed of doing.  One year later I am looking back at all the events and sessions that have taken place at our "farm" and I am in awe of the power of prayer!






We have hosted a baby shower for the sweetest baby!
We have hosted bachelorette parties for beautiful brides.



We have hosted many private sessions of pallet signs.  
My daughter just had the best Ties and Tutus party ever!  

The Fridays at the Farm/Dining room has been set and reset I don't know how many times.  
We brought the farm inside for a party!  

 We hosted a cookie exchange with delicious cookies.
We struggled through the nail and string art and learned to use softer wood next time!  (I still can't get the courage to do that class again!)
We made teacher gifts AND had our very own marriage proposal at the farm!

We hosted our very first Easter Egg hunt with friends we love!
We fell in love with wool felt...simply the best for making felt banners!
We turned the Fridays room into a diner for our sweet daughter's birthday!  

Card making took place and Happy door signs were created.  
 I made my very own happy place inside my kitchen which is where I seem to live these days!

Fridays at the Farm went to a women's retreat.  What a blessing to see all those women crafting their hearts out!

Flag pallets were made and summer school sessions were taught.


More parties were had and decorations have changed on the front porch.

Twine letters were wrapped and magnetic cookie sheets were made.  

Fall crafts were created and we hosted our very first children's Friday's at the Farm.


 More pallet signs were created and Holiday wreaths were made.
There were many other parties and many other crafting sessions.  What an incredible whirlwind this past year has been.  Figuring out what works and what doesn't work.  Balancing being a mom to 7 and a husband that works and cleaning the house for sessions has been quite the juggling act.  What I do know is that it has ALL been worth it.  I have met so many wonderful women and have been able to give them a chance to relax, socialize and craft!

Thank you for letting me turn my dream into real life.  Thank you all for your support and love!

Today is gonna be crazy!  TV????  Yikes!  I had better go get myself ready!

You better believe I am taking my camera today!  Here I come Fox 6....