image Handmade Holiday

I am so blessed with the company of women I keep here in Washington. There may not be many, but the ones I do consider my friends are really special. Not a single one is like the other, but we almost all like all the same things. That is what’s really awesome about the PNW women, they are super well rounded. Washingtonian women are a mix of glam girl, sporty girl, techy girl, hippie girl, and outdoorsy girl. I wouldn’t be able to appreciate them as much if I hadn’t lived in the South for 13 years.

 

The Lord has really put me in the middle of two worlds, the North and the South, my whole life. I had no clue he would do that here at home as well. As much as I adore Seattle (it is A LOT), my husband doesn’t, so when we moved back home he strongly opposed living near the city. So he picked a spot on a Washington State map (as far as he could get away, that I would allow) and we bought a house. We ended up smack in between Seattle (South) and Bellingham (North). I often joke that I live in Seattle but my house is in “Mayberry”. I grew up in a suburb of Seattle so I am used to fast pace hustle and bustle. I have always been a city girl through and through, even though I never lived . my girly side is from City girls are just so fun; they are unique, fashionable, and boy do they have EVERYTHING at their fingertips. But there is something special about small town girls.

I remember back to a little over a year ago, I found a local-ish female on Instagram who seemed so easy for me to relate to. She is a mom of 3, a woman of faith, and she pursues natural living. She is empowered by other women’s stories and seeks health, just like me! Oh and she lives right here in my area! Her name is Angela, she runs the blog www.nwhealthymama.com

 

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ladies monthly hike to Oyster Dome

 

I recently attended a Wreath Workshop hosted by Angela and the lovely Deanna Kitchen of Twig and Vine It was right what I needed. I needed to be with women who wanted to come together to learn, create, and find joy in small things. This life is full of glitz and glam and events that pump you up, sometimes I prefer being in the warmth of a home surrounded by humble and grounded hearts. Even better when it is in a family barn, with barn kitties. tasty treats, and fresh greenery. Oh the PNW, sure knows how to do holidays. And these girls set it up just right.

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As I listened intently to learn a craft, I found myself looking around at all the women. We all had left our families at home for the day, seeking personal time, together. We each went around the room telling a little bit about ourselves, a barn kitty lay near unmoved by our stories, but also drawn to our small gathered bodies. I can’t remember at what point all of the information Deanna was willing to share started teaching my heart a new way to love. But here it was, a new pattern my hands memorized and old fashion lifestyle was wrapping itself around my heart as I took the wire around each bundle.

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I found myself feeling so appreciative of the light laughter, as many of you know, life has its ups and downs. Lately, it has felt like I am walking around in sackcloth and covered in ashes. I am not sure if I joy and comfort are what I would describe this season in my life. I do know one thing though, in the rafters of this family barn hung warmth and it wasn’t just in the stringed lights. I felt peace, for the first time in a long time. Amongst foraged trimmings and cider filled cups, learning about myself.

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Earlier I told you how well rounded Washington women are and how much I love city girls, but I didn’t tell you what I love about small town women. They are people oriented- many spend their quality time building sheet forts, making extra treats for their neighbor, or volunteering at the local community event. Most meet up around the Friday night lights and sit in pews Sunday morning. They could care less about brand names, they only care if they can afford gas to travel to ANYWHERE to make memories. They run on a different standard, where social media and being popular doesn’t matter, but ask any local they are known for their presence in any room. These spend their lives enriching those around them, it is their business. Whether they are stay at home moms, bloggers, floral designers, teachers, or work at the local coffee shop, they are a close knit family with their community. That’s pretty special.

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My favorite part about women whether they are city, small town, Northerners or Southerners, is their love of lifting other women up. Even when we gather in a frosted air filled barn the warmth of kind hearted encouragement and admiration towards each others creativity.

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Our differences are spun together to make a much larger work of art. Piece by piece we are arranged from all walks of life and cultures with one intentional mission at hand, to shine and help others shine brightly, too. I am blessed to be in the company of good women. No matter where they are from, I kinda like being smack dab in the middle of both, xoxo

 

Sweat ’til You Shine,

Carleeh

 

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