3.22.2012

The Franklin Dream

Spring Break in Franklin, Tennessee, was everything we hoped it would be: rolling hills, stacked stone walls, four-board fences, wide-open pastures, weathered barns, live music, hot biscuits, quaint shops and a walk down memory lane for me.

Are you ready to fall in love with Franklin?



Old Natchez Trace...


...my favorite road in all of Franklin...


...with its stacked stone walls, four-board fencing, horse farms,
a winding river, small creeks and a canopy of trees.


The Historic Downtown Franklin...



...with an old theater...


...the cutest store fronts...




...and some great shops.

{clever blog here}

One of my favorites...




{great words!}




{This girl loves to shop!}

It was hard to leave the charm of Franklin,
but I wanted to show the girls where I went to school.
Nashville is only 25 minutes up the road.

{Vanderbilt University}

As I walked the familiar paths that criss-cross the Vanderbilt campus, I told my girls I wish I could go back and do college all over again. I'd spend less time hiding in the library and more time investing in people...listening to their stories and trying to love them well.

One last stop before we left Nashville...

The Loveless Cafe.

Truly the best biscuits EVER!

The walls are lined with stars.
{See my little star in the mirror?}

Franklin, we miss you already!


I could so easily stop right there, but there's more to this story. It involves a BIG DREAM, and I didn't expect to share it just yet, but I get the sense that today is the day. {Maybe someone out there needs to know that it's okay to dream? I know I did!}

We're dreaming of a move to Franklin. Not just because it's beautiful, nostalgic and a smaller town with a slower pace, but because God put it on our hearts two years ago. {Very unexpected and "out of the blue." Moving was never on our radar screen! I'm the girl who said I'd live in Houston forEVER!} And now here we are giving this dream some serious thought and prayer.

But here's the deal with dreaming: it's risky! There's no guarantee that it'll happen the way we dream it. And telling you about a dream before it comes to pass? That feels even riskier! What if it never happens? How crazy will you think I am? I've hardly uttered this dream to a soul because I'm so afraid that it sounds crazy...that I will sound crazy. And this analytical, practical, predictable girl does not like to sound crazy!

Not to mention the craziness of leaving my family {they're all here in Houston}, my neighborhood {I live a stone's throw from where I grew up}, my beautiful home {I adore it!} and my husband's business. {I can design cards from anywhere, but he'd have to start his practice all over again. Yikes!} Our dream looks crazy on paper, and believe me, I've analyzed every aspect and tried to talk my way out of dreaming altogether. 

But God just keeps telling me to dream. 

And so here I am, putting my dream out there for all to see. It feels a little risky, but I know my dream is safe in the hands of God. I don't know exactly how things will unfold, but God does. He knows the plans He has for us, and they are good {Jeremiah 29:11}. I can't wait to see what He's up to with this dream! 

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably
more than all we can ask or imagine!

**UPDATE**
We're going for it!
{Chasing our Franklin Dream here.}

56 comments:

  1. it is indeed , such a charming town & gorgeous pastures all around!!
    lulu's & the front gate were two of my favorites too!
    sorry we missed each other!!
    keep on dreaming pretty girl!!!!
    can't wait to see what your future holds xo

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  2. I love the way you captured your dream in words ~ perfectly done my friend.

    Franklin does look beautiful and the love and excitement with which you describe it shows that it can only be meant to happen.

    Enjoy your dreams and thank you for reminding some of us that we don't have to keep our dreams tucked away in the far reaches of our minds. ;)

    xo~
    T

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  3. The entire time I am looking at these pictures I am thinking to myself, "I am ready to move there!" Thank you for sharing your dreams with us. I think it is a wonderful thing to dream...

    I will tell you one thing that my husband told me when we were laying in bed deciding whether or not to accept the assignment overseas. We had until 8 am the next morning to decide. He reminded me that all of the things: the house, the job, the schools, the community...they were great, but they cannot be our security. I thought that the life we had built together was our security. Boy was I wrong. I needed to be reminded that I don't have to hold so tightly and releasing my grip turned out to be an adventure in faith.

    "All journeys have a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware." -Martin Buber

    Happy dreaming friend!

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    1. Megan, your comment reminds me of words from a favorite song, "In Christ alone, our hope is found." You are right...nothing else can be our security. It's all changeable.

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  4. Such beautiful surroundings and charming town... a dream well worth seeking! I believe in sharing dreams, even if one day they remain just a lovely dream, or a new adventure in our lives. It was a pleasure reading yours.

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  5. Sweet Linsey -- I loved Franklin too when I saw it! And thank you for sharing your dream with us! (And with me...a second time!) xoxo

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  6. I love your thought about spending less time in the library and more time investing in people - it's definitely a hard balance to achieve in college though!

    -Amy R.

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    1. You are SO right...hard to find the balance in college...and in life. Investing in people has eternal value. Grades don't. That's how I like to look at it! Though I will say...one of my dearest friends came to know the Lord through a series of talks we had in the library, so maybe there's a way to do both! (I failed my lab exam because of our talks and lost my chance at Dean's List that semester, but it was SO worth it!!!)

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  7. We tried on several attempts to move to the Nashville/Franklin area. So charming. God just had other things in mind. Loved all your pictures. That lulu store was complete eye candy for sure. Loved those outdoor chairs at that store...couldn't read the sign;). Thanks for sharing your dreams.

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  8. What a beautiful place!
    Hope you get to make the move!

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  9. You only live once... Go where your heart wants to take you and everything else will just fall in place!

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  10. We dreamed of Denver, and went. Then we dreamed of The Woodlands, and here we are. Sometimes we dream of Tulsa or the East Coast . . . Dreams are so important. And I know this, Linsey, He will bless you in either location. He will use you in either location. And He will LOVE YOU in either location. Dream big, Girl! It's the only way to dream at all!

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    1. I feel the very same way...that He will bless us and use us whether we are here or there. In the end, we only want to be where He wants us! We can take great comfort knowing that HE KNOWS where that is! xo!

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  11. I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago while looking up info on Feingold for my two year old and fell in love with your posts. I've been coming back ever since to read them. You take gorgeous pictures and always have something interesting going on! Anyways, I just wanted to share...life has been rather difficult lately with figuring out Feingold, trying to finish my master's, balancing my work with hubby's work, etc, etc. But I know we are right where we are supposed to be. About a month ago when I kept wondering if I had missed God in all of it, I was praying about it on my way home from work and turned into our driveway as Martina McBride's "Dream It Anyway" song came on the Christian station. The first stanze really spoke to me. Here's my blog post about it if you want to read more: http://christianfamilyhappenings.blogspot.com/2012/02/dream-it-anyway.html. So, whether or not you know what is going to happen, dream it anyway! Especially since He is in charge. :-)

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  12. what a beautiful trip you guys took.
    even more beautiful? your dream and that fact that you put it out there for us to see.

    when we were in orlando, we dreamed of living in Athens {ga} again, and here we are.
    God made a way where I didn't there was a way.

    never did I dream we'd be back here, close to my family and serving with such a faithful group of people at athens church.

    love your pictures...you captured the beauty of franklin so well.

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  13. Your pictures are a mini vacation in themselves! Nice work, Linsey! Dreams are risky...and putting them 'out there' can big. You are so right, they are save with God.

    What ever happens...it's a beautiful journey.

    Happy spring, friend!

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  14. What a beautiful vacation and your stunning photography makes me feel as though I was tagging along...thrilled to find and follow your blog this morning!

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  15. I'll be praying that your dream comes true. It looks beautiful there.

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  16. oh wow. i can soooo see you there. you know risk taking is not natural for me. in fact it goes completely against my nature. dreaming, yes. taking risks, no. there is something to be said for putting it out there though. for sharing what is on your heart. it brings clarity. big life changes like this need a lot of prayer, God will open doors for you each step of the way if it is meant to be. when i decided to give up my career 4 years ago i was so scared. but i followed my heart, i prayed and God provided the missing pieces. it turned out to be one of the best decisions i ever made in my life. for me and my family. i think we are all gently nudged to follow our hearts, it's up to us if we can be still enough to listen. i'll be praying for you. xo, tessa

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  17. Thank you for sharing your dreams! Franklin is gorgeous and I for one know that same feeling of letting your dreams be known and how vulnerable it makes you feel. We dreamed of moving to Austin for 6 years and since I can work from anywhere, it was more about the challenge of Scott's business being in Houston and surrounding areas and leaving friends. We finally got the courage and set our dreams into motion and worked everything else out along the way. I encourage you to follow your heart whether it be moving or not. I feel dreaming is important as it keeps life exciting and moving us forward whether we act on them or not. I'm a dreamer :) and the more I dream it, the more likely it comes reality.

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  18. hi Linsey! It is so lovely to meet you, and I do not think you crazy at all. I think you are brave to follow your heart and create the life you want for yourself and your precious family.
    I have heard Franklin is a wonderful place. I actually have family who lives there, but I have never been.
    It is always scary to give up the "known" but if your trust your heart it will all work out in the end. I look forward to watching your journey unfold...
    all my best,
    joan

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  19. What sweet words to hear about our wonderful town! Pack your bags and come on.... Just think if all those country ham and biscuits at The Loveless ;-)

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  20. oh dear friend...my heart skips for you!
    To live a dream! Oh I will keep your dream in my prayers
    and your pictures..leave me breathless!
    It is beautiful country..those bisquits
    the barns..the rolling hills
    keep us posted
    and yes..we know the header is missing we will soon be putting one in there...lol! Sad state it is right now! Always thanks for letting me know because I DO forget and overlook things..often
    love you friend
    xo

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  21. What a great and achievable dream! I think Franklin looks like just the place for you and your family! Good luck getting there!
    Laura

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    1. Thanks, Laura. Wild to think about me making my way back there! xo!

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  22. Franklin is BEAUTIFUL!:) it isn't too far from us - i am thinking it would be a great "couples retreat ;)" for this new mama!Do you have any great suggestions on where to stay?
    Also about dreaming...So glad you shared!It made my day & made my own dreams jump around excitedly {in my head - of couse!:)}! We are getting ready to move also & I too thought we would be at our present home forever {for several reasons #1 it was my husbands grandparents home & we have completely renovated it...} but those "dreams" keep popping up!:)Blessings to you as you chase yours!

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    1. We stayed in a little inn/private house in Leipers Fork called Brigadoon Inn. LOVED IT!
      http://www.brigadooninn.com

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    2. Forgot to tell you how much I loved your comment. Smiled when I read that reading about my dream made your dreams jump around excitedly in your head. :)

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  23. What is life if not for dreaming? Franklin is beautiful and now (thank you!) a must place to visit. I don't blame you at all for wanting a life there.

    Be brave and go boldly into your future! :)

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  24. Hi there....I've followed your blog silently for about 2 years now. It is beautiful and inspired by God! My husband and I lived in Houston for 5 years and moved just north of Nashville 7 months ago. I know you love Houston, but it did not agree with us...all that to say, we ADORE and are SO thankful for living here in TN. The beauty, the live music, the people, the outdoor life...it is a very special place and again we are SO THANKFUL God has allowed us to live here. I hope God blesses you with the desire of your heart if it's truly His will!

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    1. I'm so glad you chimed in! It's always nice to hear from someone who's been reading along silently for awhile. :) Most people don't love Houston, but for me, it has been home, and I love being home. But God has been loosening the tethers, and I'm feeling free to go where He leads! It's a great feeling! Stay tuned!

      P.S. Thanks for reading along for two whole years! I'm honored. :)

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  25. How beautiful are those pictures! I can truly understand your want and dream to live there! My mom is from tennessee and I can not wait to go for a visit and take my babes! Thank you for sharing! Keep dreaming!!!

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  26. Wow, looks right up your alley! Great pictures.

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  27. Oh! You will love it! I am praying that your dreams do come to true...the Lord is so good and brings it all in His perfect timing! We lived there for 12 years and have been here for 11 years and it is still deep within my soul to return someday. We go back 2 or 3 times a year to visit dear friends and it is like a homecoming every time. Friends have said all roads lead back Nashville. Once you have lived there you always want to return. Blessings to you and your family as you wait upon the Lord.

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    1. I've never heard that all roads lead back to Nashville. I love that! It's hard to imagine I could love Tennessee as much as Texas, but something in my heart says I will!

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  28. Do it! Anyone who has ever left their hometown feels like its crazy! Moving away will make you and your family grow closer together, you won't take your extended family for granted (not to say that you do), but going home to visit will make you feel like a rock star! Moving somewhere else will help you grow in ways you haven't yet even dreamed. I say do it!!!

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    1. SO encouraging to read your words. They felt like just the pep talk I needed! I DO feel crazy, but glad to know it's worth it!

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  29. Such a beautiful and charming place! We are headed to the smoky mountains in June and I think a visit to Franklin will have to be made.
    I love your dream!

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  30. I saw your post on FB, so checked here to see if I could find out more [I feel a little out of the loop with my blog break]! I love this post. It's so inspiring. And it was especially fun to read after I saw the FB post and it's really happening! Can't wait to see what's in store. Thanks for putting yourself out there -- you've encouraged this girl to let herself dream, too.

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  31. I just found you htrough Holly. I live right near you and we did this. We fell in love with Charlottesville VA and about 8-9 years ago bought land and built our dream house. My husband found something to do there. We lived there for 4 years and LOVED it! We did end up coming back to Houston (my husband missed it and the oil business) but it was still completely worth it. We had so many things happen in VA that I would not trade for anything. My boys had a taste for small town life. We had land and a creek. We lved differently for a while. And one of my good friends just moved from CA to Franklin because they fell in live with it too. Do you know Shana from Florabella Collection ? It was her.
    Best,
    Kim
    http://www.florabellacollection.com/

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    1. I loved reading this snippet of your story! Thanks so much for sharing. I don't know Shana, but would love to connect with her. Thank you for reminding me the dream is worth it, because fighting for it is HARD!

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  32. Linsey~ I came back to read this again and it blesses my socks off. Especially the last paragraph. I'm going to paraphrase it in my journal. I want to have that same attitude with my photography, my want of travel, my love of sunshine, etc. I'm so happy to have read this today and so very happy for you. what a lovely quaint town!! I wish we could sit together and chat about this over lunch! Why oh why are you going to portland and not here???

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    1. How sweet of you to come back a second time! Honored that I could be used to inspire you, Lissa. You're one who inspires me greatly! xo!

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  33. Your blessing was an absolutely blessing. I am struggling with the seeds the Lord has placed in my heart. My husband asks, "Do you need a brick wall to fall on you?" My answer is yes..I need a clear message even though He has spoke quite clearly through messages like yours.
    He will clear the path have no doubt.

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    1. I totally relate to needing a brick wall to fall on me! Let those seeds grow! You will be blessed!

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  34. I LUVVVVVVVVVV Franklin. It is 3-1/2 hours away and wish I could get there more often because I always love going. I have to go get my Iron Gate fix. I wish too that I could live there but until I retire that can't happen -- but I dream too! So nice to see your photos.

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  35. Extraordinary things happen when you dare to dream. Tonight my heart was aching for the dream that used to be. And somehow I was guided to your blog and this post about dreaming. God speaks to us in amazing ways sometimes. Thanks for listening to your heart and sharing. I needed exactly what you wrote!

    Blessings from a long-time dreamer and believer.

    Victoria in Texas

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    1. I'm honored that God would use me to inspire you, Victoria. My prayer when I write is that God would use my words to bless others...even if it's just one person that needs to hear whatever it is God leads me to write. Comments like yours inspire me to keep blogging! Thank you!

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  36. My brother and his wife live in Franklin. We saw that same stone wall on our drive out to the Loveless Cafe. So picturesque!

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  37. Congrats on your new lifestyle!
    I lived in Nashville for a few years in highschool, I know Franklin! It is truly a beautiful place filled with that country kindness that is hard to express but you surely feel it there!
    I wish you and your family the best! Your family is your home... where ever you are as a family, it will be HOME!
    xo,
    Gail
    CasualLovesElegance
    Stop by for a visit!

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  38. Hi. I found your website through the winebox garden on pinterest. I want to encourage you in your "Franklin Dream". In 2004, we went to Napa Valley for me to attend some cooking classes at the Culinary Inst. of America. The very first time I drove down from the home we were renting into the valley, I fell in love and my husband and I started dreaming about moving there. After giving up on that dream later that year, we went on with life. Then God resurrected it again when some people invited us out to Northern Cal to cook a wine dinner for them just outside of Napa Valley. (I'm a private chef.) At that point, we knew we HAD to move even though I like you thought I'd never leave TX. But all the reasons you fell in love with Franklin were why we loved St. Helena in NV. (In fact your photos of Franklin reminded me a lot of St. Helena.)Small town, beautiful, slow-paced. So in 2007, we moved. Dropped everything. Had no job and no house. It was a LEAP of faith. Now 5 years later, we are still here and have lived and learned so much. God is so good and even though there were definitely hard times (especially financially)we have seen His hand through it all. Our family is so much closer for all we've been through. And as a result of some of the hard times, God showed me a food philosophy/cooking concept that I feel is part of our future as I'm now planning to write a cookbook out of it. If you want to chat more you can find me at http://www.cookwhatyouvegot.com. Oh and thanks for the winebox garden tips. I have a ton of those in my garage and have been wondering if I could do something with them. Can't wait to see more of your blog. I LOVE IT!

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  39. I am in love!!!! What a beautiful place!!!! And I love this post because my husband and I know a lot about chasing a crazy dream, and knowing that everyone else thinks we're nuts but feeling in our hearts it's the right thing to do! So anyways I'm so thrilled for you that you decided to go for it! And during those times where it's a struggle and doubts start creeping into your head, just remember that just because something is hard doesn't mean it's wrong! (I tell myself that pretty much every day) :) :)

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  40. When our children were the same ages as yours, we "went for it" too. We packed up the most charming 1920's beach bungalow in southern California and moved to Kentucky. That was 10 years ago. It was the best decision we've ever made. Our lives became full and slow. We can't imagine life any other way!
    Good for you all!
    XO Lisa

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  41. Hi Linsey - I have been reading your blog - in Dec 2012 my husband and I had some big decisions to make - like you we lived in Houston (Sugar Land) and a new job opportunity came along that could potentially move us to Franklin. I had only been to Tenn as a kid - but that was really only driving through. Looking at your pictures of Franklin and Old Nachez Trace Rd made me fall in love with this town before I even got there. I couldn't wait to see in person where that intersection was with Morgan Rd. Well my husband took the job and moved there right away in Jan (very quickly after the decision was made) The kids and I were left to sell the house and start getting things in order. By the grace of God - we sold our house before we even put it one the market. That made us realize even more this was the right decision for our family and our path was already predetermined. Our path, our journey was to take us to Franklin. So during spring break in March we came up for a visit and I LOVED old town Franklin. I LOVED the winding old narrow roads, the creeks running through fields and front yards, the horses, the kind and polite people who were just so very pleasant. I instantly felt like home.

    We had to find a house that wasn't too far of a drive to my husbands work. I loved Leipers Fork but it was an hour away - so we had to find something closer to Cool Springs. After 11 days everything in the Brentwood area was either under contract or just not right - I had spent hours and hours online looking at homes. SO we were a little deflated. But again my some devine miracle - I became sick and could not fly home. We were delayed 2 extra days and during those 2 days a miracle happened. This house came to us when we least expected it. My family went to see it and loved it and when I felt better I went. WOW - I fell in love with this property! And...more fate... it was vacant.... we had permisson to be on the property to look around but it was a min drive out there so our realtor wasn't with us. My son was playing with the front door and it was open! My husband and I looked at each other - really? So we walked in and toured the house. Ladybugs were in the window seals - a good luck sign! Then we went to the 2nd story balcony and we saw 30 turkeys in the front yard and they sounded glorious!!! Gobble Gobble - it was like music to my ears!!!

    Long story short - we got that house and will be moving to Franklin April 25th. I wanted to say thank you to you and your blog which help guide me to the place that I know our family belongs. As Brad Paisley sings "....I miss my Tennessee home...." already and I am not even there yet. I was hoping that maybe when we get settled, maybe I can buy you a cup of coffee and meet in person at one of those quaint little restaurants in old town Franklin and talk about our journeys from Houston to Franklin, our Hunter boots, our children, our country girl at hearts - we have so much in common for 2 people that have never met. - I love your quote "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis" I do feel like we are friends that haven't ever had met - am I crazy? Maybe our paralells and the Franklin dream are fogging my brain - but I really do believe it. Let me know what you think?

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    1. I love that God would use our story to hep encourage you in yours. That's the whole reason why I share it publicly...so God can use it. I'm blown when I hear from people like you. Can't wait to hear more! Please email me through my website so we can be in touch! www.llhdesigns.com (Go to the contact page to email me.) Too much spam risk to post my email here. :)

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"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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