11.28.2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

{A rare family photo. Thanks, Dad!}

We're thankful to be spending Thanksgiving with family this year. Last Thanksgiving was a little unconventional to say the least. JD and I stayed home alone and cleaned out the screen porch. We skipped turkey and ate olives, cheese and salami with a good bottle of wine...all bundled up at the table below.


I feel a food coma coming on, so I'll reserve my usual heart reflections, but I thought I'd share my dining room chalkboard with you:

{Bought the framed chalkboard at Marshalls; mimicked chalkboard art from Pinterest.}


Wherever you are, whoever you're with,
I pray that your heart is even more
full than your tummy!

Blessings to you,

11.26.2013

Save 20% on My Christmas Card Designs

I don't mean to skip over Thanksgiving, but when you're a Christmas card designer, you start thinking about Christmas really early. And when you're a deal-loving girl, you can't help but share a discount!

So here you go: save 20% on any of my joy-filled, faith-inspired, beauty-spreading Christmas cards when you place your order HERE.


Two favors if you plan to order an LLH Designs card this season:

1. Please order using THIS LINK . . . or through the link on my website. If you click around to other vendors or products, please return to my designs through THIS LINK before placing your card order. All I'm selling on my printer's website at this time is Christmas cards. You can order my holiday stationery HERE.

{I've just learned that if you click around and leave MY LINK, I won't be paid for my work in the same way. Thank you SO MUCH!}

2. Please let me know when you've placed an order. This is important to me so that I can thank you for ordering AND so that I can make sure your order is handled with attention to every detail. I should receive a confirmation from my printer, but if you don't place the order through MY LINK, I won't receive that confirmation (or payment).

Now back to the proper season...may your heart overflow with THANKSGIVING this week!

With a grateful heart,

11.17.2013

Giving the Barn Cats Some Love

Remember our rescue operation at church one summer Sunday? Well, now we can't imagine our farm without our three kitties! They were absolutely meant to be here. They started out as strictly barn cats…catching mice, playing in the hay, scaling the rafters…but now they've discovered where the people live! After frolicking in the fields, they like lounging on our porches where they can get a little extra TLC.

On this drizzly Sunday, our cats were extra snuggly. Even Caspian {the white one, who's usually more stand-offish} looked quite content in the arms of his people. I never considered myself a cat lover {or an animal lover for that matter…how things change!}, but these felines have stolen our hearts!

Prince Caspian…





Boaz…




Lucy…





I didn't have to look very far to find joy in this dreary day.
Thankful for the sweetness of our cats today.

Joy to you!
P.S.
Save 15% on Christmas cards through Monday, Nov 18.
Send me an email if you need help ordering.
Happy to help!

11.15.2013

Inspired Christmas Cards {Save 15% Today}

One good thing about a chilly winter week on the farm is that I got to hide out in my studio and do what I love! Christmas cards have been my passion for the past 10 years. When I started, I didn't have a solid business plan, but I had a strong love for photography, words, fonts, paper and Christmas. That {and the most amazing, loyal clients} have been enough to keep me doing what I do all these years.

I love what this season represents: light, life, love, music, joy, beauty…. It's not easy to capture all that glory on a single card, but every year, I try! If you're looking for an inspired card this year, you can order my designs HEREand save 15% when you order by Monday, Nov 18.

Here are a few from this year's collection: 







 







If you need help choosing your photo and design,
email me with 2-3 or your favorites and I'll decide for you!

Orders are placed online {unless you're a custom client},
but I'm still a real life person who loves to help!

Feeling joyful and triumphant today!
P.S.
To order Christmas stationery,
visit my regular website HERE.


11.12.2013

Snow Flurries + Thoughts On Winter

We had snow flurries on the farm this morning. If it were Christmas Day, I'd be excited. But in November? Nooooo. I haven't had my fill of fall color and sunshine yet. Please don't let it be winter!

Just 10 days ago, this was the drive home.
After today's blustery wind, it will be much more bare.

I confess that I've been dreading the change in seasons this time around. Last winter was rough on me. Lots of gloomy, downcast days…and it lasted way too long. There were snow flurries over Spring Break for crying out loud! I learned in college that cold and dreary days affect my mood. Every time January and February rolled around, I was done with winter and wanted to transfer from Vanderbilt to the University of Texas. Funny that I'm back after all these years.

The view outside our front door today.
{Can't see the flurries, but see the dogs?}

Buddy and Bella were made for this. They love the cold.

Surely this winter will be different. 10,000 milligrams of Vitamin D + lots of warm beverages + reaching out to friends instead of crawling under the covers should help. But still…I'm not ready to say goodbye to fall glory.

Our tree went from looking like this a few weeks ago…

…to this today. 
{Most of those leaves will be gone by the end of the day.}

Since I'll eventually have to embrace winter, here's what I do like about this season: crackling fires, lots of warm beverages, cozy blankets, roasted root vegetables, sweet potato pie {a new favorite my husband has started making}, reading and writing. There's a quietness about winter that matches the quietness in my spirit. I just have to be careful not to be so quiet that I disappear.

Winter is a season where we need each other more than ever. I've decided fellowship is one of my best prescriptions for depression. It may sound simplistic, but it's actually very healing. When you're depressed or feeling blue, the last thing you want to do is be around others, but it's the very thing you need. Isolation makes depression so much worse. I tried that last winter. It wasn't good.

If you're one who battles a downcast spirit or depression in winter months {or any month}, my encouragement to you is this: reach out on the days when you feel like withdrawing. Let at least one friend know you need her today. I'm an introvert at heart and love my alone time, but too much of it is a dangerous thing for me in the winter months.

If you're a friend to someone who suffers from a downcast, depressed spirit, my encouragement to you is this: press in…even when it's uncomfortable. {Especially when it's uncomfortable.} Don't be afraid to show up, to call, to keep reaching out even when she doesn't seem like she wants it. The truth is, she needs you. And you need her.

This is what authentic community is all about: pressing in when the rest of the world wants to bail out. Maybe winter is a season for pressing in more deeply. And if we dare to press in, we'll not only feel better during this season, but we'll reap the rewards for many seasons to come.

Blessings to you on this blustery day,

P.S. If you're battling the blues, maybe this post will be helpful. I'm not suggesting you sit in your blues forever {and certainly not all alone}, but there are seasons where allowing yourself to feel deep sadness instead of avoiding it can bring healing and glory in the end.

11.08.2013

A Peaceful Morning After The Barn Dance


It's a quiet, frosty morning on Ten 10 Farm!


After hosting over 100 Vanderbilt students for a barn dance
last night, we forgot to cover our garden! Oops!


Sadly, we never even harvested any of these greens.
We aren't in our gardening groove yet, but it will come.
{So much to do on the farm!}


I enjoyed the peaceful sunrise this morning after a late night.
{Though I'm contemplating crawling back in bed!}


The students had a blast and were full of thanks.
{Hope our neighbors still like us after the loud music on a school night!}

The Vanderbilt RUF staff.

Small world connection: I worked with Stacey {the guy in the cowboy hat} at a church in Houston 14 or 15 years ago. He's now the RUF campus minister at Vanderbilt. I remembered having a barn dance when I was a Vanderbilt student. So I asked Stacey if he needed a place to do something like that. And wouldn't you know…he did! Turns out, we were an answer to his prayers. For the last two falls, we've hosted over 100 students for barn dancing, hot chocolate, s'mores and good, old fashioned fun.

The funny part: we didn't know about last night's party until the day before. Stacey and I talked about two possible dates in November, but I never heard back from him, so I just assumed it would be the later date. Fortunately, my husband and Stacey bumped into each other at lunch the day before yesterday, and Stacey said, "Looking forward to tomorrow!" 

The great thing: we didn't stress at all. That's a huge success for a girl like me. I think I'll celebrate by staying in my PJs all day!

A few more farm photos…






Happy Friday, sweet friends!

P.S. Our farm looks this good and can handle a last-minute party because of one person: my farmboy husband! He's totally in his element here - riding tractors, chopping wood, building garden boxes, stacking hay bales, tending fires, stringing lights, fixing things, dreaming things…. He's a hard working farmboy and an amazing sports chiropractor who has caught the attention of the Vanderbilt football team this year. {A huge lineman was so overcome by the almost miraculous work my husband has done that he got up off the treatment table and bear-hugged JD with tears in his eyes. Isn't that the sweetest?!?!} Loving my husband today. We've had our struggles since moving {a major life change will expose every hidden thing}, but I'm so glad he's mine. I think he deserves a post all his own one of these days!



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