Introducing The Selah Journal for Kids
Practice Pause + Praise with your little ones in the happiest little journal on the block
Happy Friday! I'm really feeling like celebrating this Friday. This was our first full week of school and activities. And we had a few bumps, obviously, but we made it! It wasn't perfect - maybe you saw my sad ballerina on Instagram yesterday? It was busy and chaotic and full and frantic. Trying new routines. Testing. Failing. Regrouping. We are finding the right rhythm for the Fall. Our week has lots of coming and going. And I'm constantly glancing around the house. That last sweep. The frantic check. Are we ready? Do we have all the bags, water bottles, swaddles, extra clothes, diapers, teething toys, snacks, wipes, books, crayons, shoes, sunscreen, and ponytail holders we'll need to drive 7 minutes away? Is my curling iron off? Did the dog and the fish get fed? Is there a play pot full of shredded cheese in the toy kitchen (you never know)? So many things to consider. And somehow this week, in my frantic habit of the last check, I've have found something beautiful. Right there. Hanging on my walls. Special and thoughtful art I've picked out or dreamed up over the years. Made by artists who are friends, family, right here in my neighborhood, inspired and full of hope and grace and love. Who love me. And as I've glanced around my home this week, I've noticed the art. Kind of my "heart art". Labors of love with messages and stories behind them. If you do the "last check" like I do, and the floor is a mess and the dishes are still in the sink and the laundry is on the bed. Maybe just look up to the walls. Maybe you have some "heart art" to remind you of something good. To encourage you and help you remember how loved you are. And if you don't feel that way about the walls of your home? You might consider beginning your own curation of art. Take your time to think about how you can surround your family with love using the walls of your own home.
1. What Matters Most Custom Art by Traci Smith
My sister made this for me almost 2 years ago. She participated in my first Selah event, an intensive group of 6 women who met weekly to deep dive into my brand new idea of Selah. One week, the homework assignment was to create a gratitude board. Kind of like a vision board, but focusing on what is actually blessing our lives today. The assignment was loose, and so everyone got creative. And Traci, my sister, took a completely different route than I'd ever considered. A skilled letterer, she drew her entire gratitude board. It was this beautifully intricate hand-drawn piece of art featuring what she was most grateful for. She intertwined her family and faith and all the big things, and she also included little joys like coffee and hot showers. I was so inspired by her work that I asked her to create one for my family. I sent her a list of words and phrases I wanted included and she went to work. It is one of my most treasured pieces in my home. Custom. Beautiful. And a daily reminder of the gifts and joys in my life. I just need her to update it to add sweet Bonnie Ray to it. You can email her to inquire about creating a custom piece for your family. She only accepts limited projects so that she can commit herself to creating beautiful custom work. She's a mommy of two littles and a 1st grade teacher. A hidden artist who is so very talented.
2. This Moment Custom Art by Hope Farm Co.
When we purchased our home 2 years ago, I had a vision for a large piece of art as the center point of our living room. I envisioned a wooden piece with printed words to inspire me in my every day life. I had already picked out my words: "Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." A quote I had seen somewhere and been drawn to. I also wanted a peaceful and clean visual aesthetic to promote calm in our whirlwind world of babies and busy. I searched online and locally, and I found a lovely company right in Brunswick, Hope Farm Co. I just loved the company story and mission, and the style of work was exactly what I was looking for. I messaged the owner on Etsy and asked for a custom piece. What I requested was much larger than what she normally created, but she agreed to do it. When the piece was finished, the owner planned to deliver it to my home. The night she delivered it, I was hosting a Selah Supper Club . She came in with the beautiful piece of art, maybe feeling a little awkward to find a dinner party happening. But I just loved the piece and had enjoyed communicating with her, so I just invited her to stay for dinner. And she did! Now we are dear friends raising baby girls together. Her shop is on hiatus while she focuses on her sweet family, but definitely follow along on Instagram for inspiration and product releases as they come along.
3. Oyster Print by Art by Alexandra Nicole
Our move to the beach in 2015 was a huge turning point in my life. It represented choice and intention. My first big decision to just go for it. The year before our move, I wrote in my journal that my dream was to live at the beach and build a business centered around the serenity of the coast. It seemed impossible at the time. I was in the middle of grad school, pregnant, and no where near moving. I hoped that maybe in 2 or 3 years we would be in a position to make that move. I had no idea that only 7 months later we'd be packing our bags and moving to the beach. The decision to leave Charlotte was the first time I understood that I had more choices than I realized. So when we made that hard choice to drop everything and move, it felt like a huge milestone. About a year after our move, Jordan gifted me this oyster print by a local artist I had discovered (Art by Alexandra Nicole). It reminds me every day that we did it. We made the hard choice to change our entire lifestyle, and something beautiful grew from it. Living at the beach seemed impossible, but now it's our reality.
4. Grace Graffiti Sea Horse Wall Hanging
Our Mae Lanier was born in 2016, and the news that she was on the way came only a few months after we moved here. She was our beach blessing. We were really building a life here - bringing home a new baby in this place. We felt so inspired by the beauty of our new home. The sweeping marshes, the live oaks, the rolling ocean. And it felt like this place had gifted us the next sweet chapter of our lives - a new baby and a new way of living. Slow. Simple. Intentional. We even named Mae after the poet, Sidney Lanier, who wrote The Marshes of Glynn. I loved his words about this place we had come to love. So present and detailed and beautiful - how I wanted to live. So when I decorated Mae's nursery, I wanted a coastal feel, neutral and soft. Calm and thoughtful. And I wanted some special local art for her. I quickly found a local company, Grace Graffiti, another beautifully inspiring family business in Brunswick. Their work is a labor of love, and the story how their business came to be will give you all the feels. So I messaged the owner about an order, and I purchased this sea horse wall hanging for our sweet beach blessing. It helps me remember the most important blessings from our time in St. Simons these past 3 and half years - our Mae and Bonnie.
5. Sailboat Dream painting by Barbara Raines
I am so lucky to have a family full of artists. Now my mom does not (currently) sell her work, but her paintings are so special in our home. My mom has this gorgeous whimsy that comes though her work, and she's created unique nursery art for each of our girls. And while I love them all, my absolute favorite piece she has created is this dreamy sailboat painting she made for Mae's nursery. To me it's all imagination and wonder. My girls imagine where the boat is going, who is on it. if there are mermaids in the water, if they are sailing for treasure. It inspires dreams and play and adventure. It's also full of sweet hidden messages - a Cross in the sky for God's love over them always, the word "love" in the water for the love that carries them through the waters of life, an angel in the clouds guiding the ship. There is something about it that just draws me in. A work of love and hope and promise for my girls made by their Honey. It's a sweet reminder hanging over their heads that they are loved so very deeply.
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