taking note

Yesterday was a lovely day. 

- yoga (for the second time in my life) with friends
- a little kitchen reorganization with my mom (nesting?) 
- a wonderful dinner out with Andrew and a night full of great conversation

I have no photos to prove these things. No selfie to show off the eye makeup that I never wear. 

But I am very sore, very rested, and I woke up to a clean kitchen. Days like yesterday are good for the soul. Things accomplished, but also time spent ‘just being’ (in the words of the yoga instructor). 


living in fear?

You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for success.

—J. K. Rowling, in her Harvard Commencement Speech

quotes, life,

a legacy of getting things done.

image via Upstate Business Journal

Doing some reading and research about Greenville’s textile history and came across an article about Mary Putnam Gridley, someone I’d never heard of before today.

What a legacy wrapped up in this single sentence: "A tiny woman, under 5 feet tall and weighing about 90 pounds, she nevertheless was able to organize people and get things done."

Mary influenced so many various facets of Greenville (the library, a farmer’s market, hospital, chamber of commerce, etc.) that the most likely reason for her notability almost pales in comparison — she was the first female mill president in the South.

Read more of her story here.

Greenville, life,

Found in my screenshots today.

Beautifully designed by Courtny Cotten. Original quote by Victor Hugo.

quotes, life,

I don’t know what it is.

Some days I can really appreciate beauty more than others. Maybe every designer feels this way, but there are days like today when I look at dribbble and am truly amazed and appreciative of all the work that’s being produced in our industry.

And then there are other days when the talent I see there is amazing in a really depressing way and I’m consumed with thoughts of self-doubt, and wonder ‘why am I not that good?’ ‘why do I bother calling myself a designer?’, etc, etc…ad nauseum.

I’m not sure what makes the difference, but I’m really grateful for days like today when I can genuinely admire and appreciate others’ work for what it is. Without comparison or jealousy.

Here are a few things that I’ve found completely and totally inspiring lately.

Seed Circus lettering via Milkwood / Micah 6:8 by Matt Scribner / house sketch by Steve Wolf / the excellence of Trouvé Magazine

design, life, inspiration,

Thoughts on motherhood from a not-yet mom.

Technically, I’m a mother. 

I’m five months pregnant, so people tell me this is my first Mother’s Day. But for all practical purposes, I am not a mother. I haven’t experienced the labor, the sleepless nights or the constant care for another human being, so I don’t feel I have the right to claim that title just yet.

Pretty Mother’s Day flowers from our yard.

To be honest, choosing motherhood was actually fairly difficult for me. Possibly because it seemed to be a foregone conclusion most of my life. In church as a young girl, I always got the feeling that education was good and all, but really, every girl was supposed to become a mom. Unfortunately, I can’t say we’ve come all that far in thirty years. Even in the past week, I’ve heard things like ‘you’ll never know true love until you have your child’ or ‘now that I have children, my life has true meaning’.

I know these things are said with good intentions, but I don’t think people realize the importance they’re placing on a single (albeit all-encompassing) aspect of their lives and the message it’s sending. I’m curious how my feelings about this topic will grow and change in the next year, when I have a little girl standing in front of me. But one of the things I want to teach her is that her value does not depend on other people

And wouldn’t those ‘other people’ include children?

I want her to know that having or not having children does not make her more of a woman. Somehow, even in our Christian communities, this is not a message that girls hear loud and clear. This time last year, a friend wrote on Facebook as part of a Mother’s Day post “You don’t have to be a mother to be a valuable woman.” It stopped me in my tracks and it brought me to tears. This was the core issue I had been wrestling with for the past few years: Did God really create women just for the purpose of bearing children? If I don’t have a desire to have children, does that make me a bad person? If this is supposed to be my purpose in life, is something wrong with me for not wanting it?

Me, with my mom and my grandma.

Today I want to honor my mother, grandmother and all the women in my life who have cared for me over the years. I will wish a Happy Mother’s Day to women who are caring for the children in their lives — their own or not. I think the true sacrifices of motherhood deserve to be honored, not idolized.

I’m so grateful for a good friend who asked me hard questions and helped me work through some of these issues. And thankful that in spite of our hangups, God can still make truth clear — our value does not depend on other people.

It’s a lesson I think motherhood (ironically) will continue to teach me every day.

Along these same lines, I really appreciated this article by Anne Lamott yesterday. Very similar to what I’m trying to say, but much more articulate.


Not as busy as we think.

"The art of busyness is to convey genuine alarm at the pace of your life and a helpless resignation, as if someone else is setting the clock, and yet simultaneously make it clear that you are completely on top of your game. These are not exactly humble brags. They are more like fretful brags, and they are increasingly becoming the idiom of our age."

"The answer to feeling oppressively busy, he says, is to stop telling yourself that you’re oppressively busy, because the truth is that we are all much less busy than we think we are."

— Excerpts from Hannah Rosin’s article about the book Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when No One Has the Time.

I’m already looking forward to reading this.

life, books,

Plan, to be surprised.


Photo by Paige French

Life has a way of running everything together, so that before one thing is completely done, another has already begun. I suppose this is how weeks and months can pass by unnoticed, and somehow we realize that it’s almost April.

This collision of timing is exactly what happened when — in the middle of planning for The Makers Summit (which was a super inspiring, beautiful, wonderful day!) — Andrew and I learned that we were expecting a baby.

In the past few weeks, we’ve finally been able to tell friends and family. And while it’s early on this road we’ve never been down before, it’s already been full of surprises.


So far, I’ve been surprised:

· that as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I immediately wanted to only think/talk/pin about baby and pregnancy things. This is a very strange thing for someone who hasn’t spent much time thinking about having children of my own. And difficult because we couldn’t tell anyone for a little while.

· about how absolutely exhausted I’ve been

· that I haven’t had more compassion for my pregnant friends in the past

· that I’m not too concerned about eating healthy just because I’m pregnant. Most of the time I find myself just trying to find something to eat that sounds decent, which has begun to include cheetos and pop tarts.

· by the overwhelming support and encouragement from friends and family. I have to admit that as our friends without kids have dwindled over the past nine years, there were times I felt like new babies meant somehow I would lose a friend. A ‘loss of solidarity’ is how another friend put it. And while I know in my heart that it’s silly, I also know that I have friends out there who may feel the same way. Andrew and I have felt so much support from our friends — both parents and non-parents — and it’s meant so much to us.

· by the heartburn. So much awful heartburn!


on balance.

We’re in go mode again, this time getting everything ready for this weekend’s Makers Summit.

In the back of my mind, I’m still thinking a lot about rest and balance and what that means — especially in times like this, when there’s just so much to be done. I’m more convinced than ever that rest does not mean doing nothing. Some days, it’s truly more relaxing to get things off the to-do list than to ‘relax’ in front of the TV.

One of the most helpful things I’ve read about the topic comes from the famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) book by Sheryl Sandburg, Lean In. She argues that work-life balance and the idea of ‘having it all’ is a myth. And it’s actually a pretty harmful one. She says ‘having it all’ undermines the realities of give and take that are required to live life every single day.

Sacrifices come in all shapes and sizes, and we’re constantly choosing to set one thing aside in exchange for another — maybe it’s healthy eating, maybe it’s sleep, work, or having a clean house. But setting priorities are a necessary part of life, and something you don’t just do once. The more I think about it, a balance where every aspect of life holds equal importance at all times seems both tedious and precarious. I know that I can’t do everything well all the time. And I’m setting myself up for failure if I try to convince myself I can have it all.

For today, give-and-take means that I spent more on groceries to buy myself flowers and enough prepared meals to get us through Saturday. I may not be cooking from scratch this week, or cleaning my house, or being Wonder Woman, but I’ll be able to spend a few minutes with my family, get a decent amount of sleep, and get everything checked off the to do list. And that’s what is important for the moment.

life, Business,