My new blog

I've started a new blog dedicated to my business, Paisley Petals! In case you didn't know, I started my own business doing flower arrangements for weddings and events. I will most likely update the Paisley Petals blog much more frequently than I do this one. So far, I've had 2 posts in 2 days! Check it out here.



For My Reader, Rebecca

My dear friend Rebecca recently reminded me that the last time I posted, it was the end of March. So, this one's for her...

The last few months have been sort of a blur of activity. My first weddings of the season were in April, and it has been a bit crazier than I expected. I knew my weekends (Thursday through Sunday) would be busy with weddings. What I didn't realize is how busy Monday-Wednesday would be. Those are the days I spend catching up on everything and everyone I had to put off while I was occupied with a wedding (or 2) over the weekend. But, it is definitely a blessing for such a young, small business to be so busy!

My biggest wedding of the summer was on June 7th. I was so nervous! I get nervous for every wedding that I do because I really care about it, I've invested a big part of myself into creating the flowers, and it's not like you get a second chance. I can't just say "oh, you don't like your bouquet? OK, let's try again next weekend!" But this one I was especially nervous for. Eric kept reminding me to have confidence in myself, but it's hard sometimes. As it turns out, the bride (and everyone else in the family, wedding party, guests, etc.) were thrilled with the flowers and raved about them over and over again! What a relief!

As I was cleaning up my flower shop today, I took a minute just to sit down and look around. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to God for giving me such a fun talent that I can use to generate income for my family and for giving me the guts I needed to quit my job and go for it! I've come quite a long way from trying to do flowers in my parent's kitchen! My shop is super cute-- it has french doors, grid windows, a custom-made tall-enough-for-me workbench, and shelves stocked with supplies and a big, huge cooler. All this, and it's only a few feet from my back door! I can't believe my little business has been up and running for a year now! I still feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants a lot of the time, but I love it! My family has been so supportive, especially my husband. I know that I would not be doing this without his support, confidence and help. I am so blessed!

In other news, I was just voted on to the board of directors for the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce. Crazy, huh? I'm excited to be a part of our community in this new role. I love our little town-- everyone should come and visit!

Well, I think that's a pretty good update for now. I'll put up some pictures from this summer's weddings as soon as I start to get some back.

Hooray for God for the blessings of self-employment!



So, Spring officially started last week. Here's what it looked like at my house last night and this morning:

Crazy, Huh? March 27th. Hooray for God for unexpected surprises!


Still Learning...

I've been thinking a lot lately-- well more like the last several years, but especially in the last couple of weeks-- about how the way we treat people reflects God in us. Our home group has been watching the Nooma video series by Rob Bell. If you haven't seen them-- see them! They're great discussion-starters. The last two have led us into similar conversations about the way we live our lives. God has really been teaching me a lot about myself and my attitudes since my senior year of college (7 years ago!) and I thought I'd share a little of my journey.
Through most of my high school years, I was the worst kind of Christian. I mean, I wasn't out there door-knocking and telling complete strangers they were going to hell, but I had a pretty terrible attitude. And worse than being obnoxious to strangers, I was hurtful to people in my own family. I was too self-righteous to step down off of my self-assigned pedestal and share life with them. I was specifically horrible to my little brother. He's 16 months younger than me and was 2 years behind me in school. He was a rule-breaker. I was not. Obviously, this made him a terrible human being and me awesome. Well, at least in my mind it did. In reality, he was struggling and needed his sister to be there for him, not to judge him by his behavior. I left for college and our relationship improved a little, but it didn't feel very real. My senior year of college, my brother let our family know that he was gay. I, of course, struggled with this revelation for awhile. I had not seen it coming at all. From there, my brother began a dangerous cycle of surrounding himself with the wrong people, drugs, homelesness, etc. This went on for 5 or 6 years, and was really painful for all of us. In the last couple of years, my little brother has really turned his life around. He's been holding down a job for over a year, is off drugs and is in a steady relationship with a nice, responsible guy.
God has used my brother to teach me so much. I'm not sure why I ever thought that lecturing my brother about his choices would cause him to change anything. Throughout all of the most difficult points of our relationship, with all of his drugs, disappearing, and dangerous behavior, I could never stop loving or caring about him. God taught me that He had given me that love, and that love should be the foundation of all of my actions toward my brother. He taught me that homosexuality was NO DIFFERENT than ANY OTHER deviation from God's plan for sex. NO DIFFERENT. He has also taught me that if people do not know Him or have a relationship with Him, there is no reason for them to change their behavior. It is so useless and harmful for Christians to go around trying to make non-Christians behave like Christians. These revelations have made it much easier for me to just treat my brother with the love and kindness and respect he deserves as one of God's creations. I don't always get it right, but it is so much better. Through my relationship with my brother, God is also teaching me how to do a better job of loving the people around me. I want my life to show that I care about people. I know I will be continuing to be taught by God for the rest of my life in this area. Hooray for God for being willing to teach me!


Of Christmas & Cars

It has been an interesting couple of weeks around the Pritchard household...

Let's start by filling you in on what we got my hubby for Christmas. Eric plays the bass, and he loves it. It's one of the things that makes him really happy, and he's quite good at it. He plays for the worship team at our church, and I sing, so it's a great ministry for us to do together. For years, Eric has wanted to build his own bass amp, but the components are pretty expensive. He's had a couple of them for a long time- before we were married. After we got married, it got put on the back burner as far as financial priorities go, so he hasn't been able to get any new components for about 3 years. He had 3 major components left to get other than some cords, etc. So, for Christmas, his parents got him the racking system, and everyone in my family went in to get him his bass cabinet. It was awesome-- it was a lot of work to keep him totally in the dark, but he was so surprised and excited! His birthday is coming up next month, so I'm excited to see if we can all work together again to get him the last piece he needs. Hooray!

We had a great Christmas with our families. We spent the afternoon/evening of the 23rd with Eric's family for our traditional Christmas dinner/gift exchange/hang out and visit. It was lovely. On Christmas Eve, we met some friends for lunch and then spent the evening with my family- we went to Aunty Judy's house, ate, exchanged gifts, piled in the motor-mansion, went to look at some amazing Christmas lights, went to a movie, came back to Judy's and ate some more. Christmas day found us, as usual, at my parents house by 9am. We spend the whole day there in our pj's opening gifts, having dinner and just hanging out. The whole family was there- My sister and her family, Eric & I, Mom & Dad and My brother and his parter, Brent. We had a great time!

We also got to visit with some of our friends who were visiting from out of town. Dustin & Kendy Wallace, who moved from Enumclaw to Omaha at the end of the summer, were in town and we got to spend all of Wednesday evening with them. Aaron and Amy Redelsperger were also in town. They brought their two adorable little girls over and had dinner with us on Thursday night. It was so good to catch up with our friends!

On to the car story-- A few days before Christmas, my transmission started acting up- slipping, etc. I took it to my regular mechanic. He had it for a week (including weekends, Christmas, etc.) but couldn't figure out what was wrong and told me I needed to take it to the dealership. I did. They took another week to figure out what was wrong. Long story short, it needed a new transmission to the tune of $3500. We still owe $5000 on the car. We don't want to invest a bunch of money in it because it's too small for the business and for hauling kids around (not yet!). So, we had them put a $600 band aid on it while we figured out what to do. Another long story short, my parents co-signed on a loan for us, and last night we bought a 2004 Chevy Malibu Maxx. We love it! It's going to be a great fit for the next season of our life. And, it's still under warranty for awhile, which makes me feel good. Not to mention it has the hauling capacity of a small SUV with the fuel economy of a mid-sized car, and it has the roomiest interior ever, even in the back seat, which is great for us not-so-small folks! Come see me-- I'll give you a ride!

Hooray for God for giving us family and friends and for taking care of us all the time!


Christmas Eve!

Most of you probably know that I get just a little bit excited about Christmas. There is just something amazing about this season. A big part of it for me is that I get to give lots of gifts! If you've ever read that book about the love languages, I'm totally a gift-giver. It's one of my favorite things to do. I love picking out just the right gift for people. At Christmas time, I get to give gifts to everybody all at once, and it's so exciting I can hardly stand it! There are a couple of gifts I am especially excited about this year. I would tell you what they are, but I don't want to run the risk of ruining the surprise. The one I'm most excited about is for my Husband... maybe I'll post again in a couple of days and let you know the whole story...

We're looking forward to spending time with lots of family and friends over the next few days. Yesterday was Christmas with the Pritchards. I am blessed to have such wonderful in-laws! Today, we are having lunch with our friends the Daceys, then cruising in Aunty Judy's motor-mansion with my fam to look at Christmas lights, then going to a movie. Tomorrow will be Christmas with my family all day. Wednesday evening is dinner with the Wallaces who are visiting from Nebraska where they moved in August, and Thursday will be dinner with the Redelspergers who are up from Cali.

I'm hoping to make it to Portland soon... I miss my friends!

Merry Christmas everybody!



So, I have lots of hair. It's curly and thick and it was getting really long. I mean seriously, really long. It hadn't been this long since high school. It was taking over my life and driving me crazy! So yesterday, I finally got a haircut!!! Hooray!!!

Here's proof:


And After:

Also? Yesterday I went to pick my niece up from high school because she was sick. I walked into the office and the student who was working in there asked me "oh, are you just getting here, hon?" WHAT?! I said "Actually, I'm 28 years old and I'm here to pick up my niece." Seriously, people-- this happens to me ALL THE TIME! I know, I know, I'll be glad when I'm older and look really young. But the thing is, right now, I want to be treated like a grown up and not a kid! Geez Louise!! :)