Thursday, March 28, 2013

Maps and a Globe

Hi my friends.

This time of year I start thinking about vacation.  I always look so forward to going somewhere…anywhere…just let me get away for a few days of sunshine, relaxation, and no cooking, cleaning or laundry.

Anybody out there agreeing with me on the no “chore” part?

Of course, I am the one who still makes up the bed even when I am in a hotel room.  Just can’t help myself.

Do you ever think about your most favorite vacation?

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Where did you go?

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I have to say that I think my all time favorite vacation took place almost four years ago when my husband had a business trip up north and we got to go with him.  Homeschooling has given us the opportunity to pack up many times and go along on business/field trips.  This was actually a two week trip of a lifetime. (at least it was for this mama)

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We started in Williamsburg, VA, where we went to Colonial Williamsburg.  It was wonderful and full of such history.  I still remember sitting on the steps of an “old store” and having the best ginger bread cookie that I have ever eaten. 

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After Virginia, we did a whirlwind trip to Washington, DC.

The next stop on our journey was probably the most unforgettable place for me.  We went to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and that my friends is where I fell in love with the Amish.

Let me just tell you that I came back from there a new person. 

I totally know that their lives are not simple, but what kept resonating with my spirit was “simplicity”.    That is the word that I kept feeling drawn to.  Simplicity.  I even bought a little wooden sign that read that word and still have it hanging it my kitchen today.

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Let me try to explain just a little…

I think simple to me meant becoming more of who God created me to be.  It meant not being a cookie cutter anything.  It meant learning to be a little more self sufficient.  It meant not worrying that none of my friends had chickens roaming around their backyards, but I wanted them roaming mine.  Not caring who might laugh when we told them that we wanted to have a little hobby farm.  It meant even changing the style of my home.  No offense to Kirkland’s, but it meant not having a Kirkland’s home anymore.  My home was going to be what I (we) wanted it to be.  I wasn’t going to try to have the homes my friends had or buy what I thought “looked good” to someone else.  I wanted our home to reflect who we were and where we came from.

Am I making any sense?

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I wanted things in our life to be more about who God intended us to be than what I thought we were supposed to be.

Please tell me that I am not rambling and that this is hitting home with someone else.

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I left Lancaster with new ideas and new desires.  I also left there with great memories.

Did I mention that I also tried Shoo Fly Pie?

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Our next stop was the extreme opposite of Lancaster.

New York City was the next destination, and it was crowded and crazy busy.

  I did enjoy it thoroughly and am so glad we went.  I would love to go back when we had lots more time to sight see.  New York was a quick stop for us and I don’t think you can do New York too quickly or you really can’t appreciate it.

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We then headed to Boston which was also wonderful.  What I remember most about there was that it was so cold and we didn’t have gloves or heavy coats because we had left Tennessee in somewhat warm weather.

Oh my, the history of places like that are just incredible.  Boston was probably my husband’s favorite place.

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Boston was actually supposed to be our final destination but because we were so close to Maine, we decided to drive just a little farther.  Would you believe that we went to Maine for just a day trip?

Maine was incredibly beautiful.  I would so love to go back there sometime and spend days just driving around.

Two of my favorite things about Maine were eating their delicious clam chowder while overlooking the ocean and walking around a gorgeous old cemetery. 

Sweet memories.

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Why did I share all of this with you guys today?

Because now that summer is approaching and we are thinking about vacations, I realize that this will be our first family vacation without our oldest child, our son.

Keith will be working at a Christian camp in North Carolina for the entire summer and won’t be able to go on vacation with us.  I am thrilled for the opportunity God has given him to be at this camp, but I am sad.  I won’t feel complete.  I will know that my baby boy (21 years old) is missing from the family fold. 

I do love my children dearly.  I love my husband.  I love having all of us together. 

Times are changing.



Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I just love all your vintage things in your fabulous room!

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

What a great vacation! And I know what you mean about living simply and enjoying who our Father made us to be. Good post!

Have a blessed Easter.

chateau chic said...

Next time you come to D.C., please stay with us!! I have a good friend who wants to live with the Amish because of the simplicity and community that characterizes a lot of their lifestyle. Quite a difference from Northern Virginia. And if you go back to Maine, you must go all the way up to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Gorgeous, lots of hiking paths, the beauty of creation is amazing there. I understand the sadness that comes when a part of the family can't join you on family vacations. As you can tell, your post resonated with me since I'm familiar with a lot of these places!
Mary Alice

Doreen Cagno said...

Oh, Amy - what a wonderful vacation that was! I am blessed to live in Lancaster county and love it! You would totally love the old order Mennonite man who makes frames for me from wooden siding from torn down Amish and Mennonite homes (with no power tools)! He is amazing -he's 84 and has over 100 grand and great-grandchildren! He's fit and works from sun up til sun down in his little workshop with his wife - who rides a bicycle still for transportation! If you ever visit again, let me know - I'd love to meet up with you!

Blessings to you,

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

A trip to Lancaster PA holds special memories for me too. I loved all the wonderful food, but if I lived there I think I wouldn't be able to fit through the doorway any more!
Love the beautiful photos of your home Amy!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful set up Amy
What color green did you use on your cabinet?
I follow you on facebook...
Blessings Karen

Sheila said...

Amy, Amy, Amy......if only my trip to VA and DC And PA we like yours lol. I am so glad to hear of your beautiful stories and someday soon we will do the same things you did and visit some wonderful history in our beloved U.S.A. We have been twice and did nothing my SIL works for the sate of VA and we did nothing, nothing, nothing :( next tome we will not include her but she will not do all these wonderful things that we will be doing.

Next Mom lives in MO and they have Mennonites and they are pretty cool too, running on good old fashioned hard work love it! It is funny that you talk about simple, simplicity...I just changed my TG logo a few months ago to read "Simplistic Everyday Living" and that to is what we are trying to do and not get caught up in all the hoopla of keeping up with the Jones'

have an incredible rest of your week my friend and lets talk about that giveaway I am planning some deals for the month of April


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

It's hard to see our children grow up and it does make you nostalgic...but even though things change, new things are good, too! This is such a lovely post...your poignant thoughts and the beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing!

{northern cottage} said...

oh my word....GORGEEEEOUS styling and display! yum!

Holly said...

Love this post! That truly does sound like a trip of a lifetime. One of my dream vacations is to visit Lancaster. I love reading Amish books and I am fascinated with their way of life. I can only imagine what it would be like to visit there. We are taking another one of my dream vacations this summer. We are going to Disney for the first time. My 5 year old is beyond thrilled and I think I am just as excited to see her experience the "magic." Hope you have a wonderful day.

On Crooked Creek said...

Change is constant!
I loved reading about how going on vacation changed your perspective on your home and its simplicity!!!
We return to the same spot for vacation every year! "Mr. Ed" is an avid Trout Fisherman and I adore the quaint Antique Shops nearby!!! BUT, the main reason we return is for is a "couples retreat". Our time alone with God and we pray for direction for our coming year!!!
Have a blessed and glorious Easter, dear friend!!!

Holy Craft said...

So many beautiful pictures. Love the eye candy! And I was happily singing along to 10000 reasons on your music stream. Love that song. Especially since my oldest son drums in worship team and that's my favorite song that he plays!

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME/Doublewide Decor said... are such a blessing...I LOVE them. I have been so fortunate to see many places in the US...still have more to see, but picking a favorite would be hard. Charleston, Hawaii, and Mackinac Island would be on the top, but oh, I love Florida and Gettysburg...see what I mean???

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

I hear you Amy! I've had my own struggles with giving up what 'other people think I have to be'! God's opinion is the only one that matters - but we can get so caught up in what other humans think.
your trip sounds so fun. I want to just load the girls up and head out :)

must love junk said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip filled with so many memories! This last trip we took to Arizona in Jan. was really special-spending time with my sis and nieces, nephews, etc...I really enjoyed all your lovely pics! So much eye candy in that room :)


I am looking forward to a nice blog every day.
Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom in Japan today.
It is spring. The Japanese loved this season.
Cherry Blossom Festival in Kyoto is the ancient capital.
All means, please enjoy our website.
From Japan.
Ryoma Sakamoto.

Ginger said...

Oh, transitions! They are beautiful and terrible all at the same time.
Your home is lovely--so much better than Kirklands!:)

Becky C said...

Ok my sister...this is my favorite post of yours. EVER! I love the photos, the rolled-up maps, the ice cream bucket, the corner. I think your styling is gorgeous & inviting & warm.
But oh how I LOVE your story...I have even heard it before :) Isn't it wonderful when you can pinpoint the moment when you find your "style", your "niche" in life?? I'm certain your story "hits home" with many of us blog sisters who all decided at one point to follow their heart with decorating.
So sorry Keith won't be able to vacation with least you know God's plan for your kids lives' are unfolding.
Lots of hugs
See you soon!

Old Time Cindy said...

What a glorious post! Simplicity...yes...making life your own from the heart and not following others. I so get it, Amy!
Farmhouse hugs,

Anonymous said...

I just recently found your blog. I'm loving every
bit of it ! So nice to read about someone who is not
afraid to share their faith in the lord!!!!!
You truly inspire me!!
God bless!
Blessings on your Easter!

Anne said...

Amy I think that is why vacations or little getaways with family are so important.Start when they are young.They grow up so fast and before you know it they are all grown up and all that is left is memories.But what wonderful memories that can be cherished forever!

Anne said...

OH forgot to wish you and your family a Happy Easter!

Kate said...

Dear Amy
Wow this is by far one of my favorite posts from you!!! Love the colors and the mix of items. How lovely my friend.

Hugs to you

Debbie said...

"I wanted things in our life to be more about who God intended us to be than what I thought we were supposed to be."

That is exactly where God has brought me too. I want to be who He intended, and that person has her own likes and passions and tastes. I am learning (ever so slowly) to trust those tastes because they are what makes me ME.

You were definitely not rambling and did resonate with me because now I have to go back and look at the pictures because I was too busy drinking in the words on the first go round.

(And my favorite vacation of all time was a 21 day trek that included some of the very places you mentioned with my mother and FATHER (before he died... it was so special.)The Farm sister and her girls came along too. We had such a wonderful time, making memories as Dad used to say. Believe it or not, we actually did a day trip to Maine too.)

Oh how you have brought back memories.

Keeping It Cozy said...

Beautiful photos, Amy, and your vacation sounds absolutely perfect (and one I would love to do some day!). I know that it is normal and natural for my girls to grow up, but I already dread the day they leave home! I cannot imagine not having them around. You have such wonderful children, Amy - I know you and your husband are so thankful and proud of them!

Debra Oliver said...

this is such a wonderful post, and yes, you make perfect sense. Whatever our "style" might be we need to feel free to express ourselves. I always love coming to visit your wonderful home! what an amazing trip that must have been for your family. Kids learn more from a trip like that than any book can provide! Have a wonderful Easter Weekend!

Elizabeth (Blue Clear Sky) said...

That sounds like it was a great trip being with family and seeing so many places. I get what you are saying about the simplicity too.

The Tablescaper said...

Just lovely.

I'd love to have you link your post to Seasonal Sundays. The link goes up at 7 pm on Saturday evening.

- The Tablescaper

Shannon @ A Cozy Place Called Home said...

I enjoyed reading your post and looking at your wonderful photos. Your vacation reminds me of the great trips with my family as a youngster. We loved Lancaster, Pa. so much that we went a second time. The memories made with families on vacations will last a lifetime. I hope you and your family have a glorious Easter Sunday!

Phyllis @Around the House said...

I adore your pretty vintage pretties...that cow pillow is too cool and the whole room is just the sweetest, love your photos, tells such a sweet story...

Carol Cook said...

Your vacation sounds wonderful - seeing historic spots as a family and having the memories to talk about for years.

We take several vacations a year - empty nesters - but the best vacation for our whole family was this past Christmas. Instead of skiing for Christmas which is a long family tradition, we flew to Kauai. We relaxed, swam, kayaked, ate, cook, laughed, played cards and so much more. What made it special is that our children are now adults (6 years apart) and this was the first vacation ever that there was no sibling bickering. We felt so blessed to be a family together on vacation.

Holly Browning said...

I love Williamsburg. We live an hour away from there. Our Spring break is this week. I don't know where we are going...yet! To the dentist on Monday... :/


WOW! LOVE your new header...and that vignette with the old sign is magazine worthy!!

You have some awesome goodies there...

Carol said...

All of your vintage things are so wonderfully charming, and you have them showcased so well! We did many family vacations of the historical nature when our children were young. It's really fun to see our son doing similar trips with his own four kids now!

BECKY said...

Hi Sweetie,
I so feel your heart in all of this. And I know what you mean about being you. And you are a wonderful one of a kind lady!!

What lovely memories...You know, we raise our children to love God, teach them responsibility and nurture their blossoming independence. Then one day, the first one leaves the nest. Our heartstrings get pulled tighter than it feels we can recover from, and yet we do. And we find the new normal, and the blessings in all the change that has taken place. And then, usually not too long afterward, it all happens again. And the God of grace and mercy collects each tear we shed in an alabaster they are so precious to Him, and we crawl up in His lap and He wraps His loving arms around us. Such is the life of a parent. And only God knows how difficult this process is for each of us moms. I'm so glad He does know, and so glad I know that He will cover you with His wing, and be your strong tower.

Love ya gal,
I know you are just the best mom!

Jenna LaFevor said...

These pictures are gorgeous and totally have me drooling! New follower here! LOVING your blog!
Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

The Tablescaper said...

Great to have you be a part of SEASONAL SUNDAYS!

- The Tablescaper

Kate @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating said...

I love your maps and globes, what a charming look. I am loving the map trend right now, trying to find a good one for my little boys "big boy" room. Thanks for sharing at Flaunt it Friday.

PS: I have to tell you that your pretty worship music on your blog scared me to death! It is late and I had my computer on full blast for some reason, I about jumped out of my seat. ;)

Tanya Anurag said...

That is such a clever idea. Like those rolled up maps!

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

what a beautiful room. Love everything about it!