Bedtime Reading

Reading is always a big part of our bedtime routine–right between bath and prayers. All four of us pile onto Tice’s bed, and usually I read. One of these days I’ll set up the camera for a picture of that, but this time Harper was reading a book that Tice could follow along and practice his emerging reading skills.

Such sweet moments and (almost) always a peaceful way to slow down and end their day.

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Today’s Inspiration – Black Elephant Ear

When I was younger, it was drawing or painting. But for the last 18 years, it’s been photography that’s been my primary visual creative outlet. I’ll be inspired by something, and it keeps nibbling at my thoughts until I take the time to get it captured. Intensity and the need to photograph the inspiration usually increases when I have other things I need to be doing. Funny how that works. Today’s inspiration was the backside of an Alocasia (elephant ear) leaf that I’ve been walking past every time I go up or down the steps to our back porch. The green veins against the black leaf have been speaking to me.

I got these wonderful shutters at an estate sale a few months ago. Oh, and I found the black Alocasia at Lowe’s earlier this spring. Couldn’t pass it up!

Glad I got that taken care of… Now, I can move on to the other things on my list for the day!

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Antiques Week in Burton – Bayberry’s Antiques

I mentioned in my last post that one of my favorite mornings last fall during Antiques Week was spent in Burton. When I was leaving Flown the Coop, Tiffany told me about some other places to stop, including Bayberry’s Antiques.

I met the owners Shelby and Joel Geshay, and they are wonderful. I think Burton must be screening people for how nice they are before they can open a shop in town!

This adorable shop looks like it’s always been here, but Shelby and Joel actually built this about a year ago.

Bayberry’s is open for the Round Top Antique festival each spring and fall, and they are also open for special events in Burton (Cotton Gin Festival, holiday parades, etc…). Of course, I wish they were open all the time, but then Shelby wouldn’t have the time to find all of these amazing treasures in her neck of the woods. And I promise you–she is finding them!

Between the great prices and gorgeous displays, you can guarantee that I will be there when they are open.

The selfish part of me wants to keep these little honey holes to myself, but when I meet such nice and talented people following their dreams, how can I not want to share them and wish them great success? Go see Shelby during the next few weeks, and please share this and tell her I sent you!

Bayberry’s Antiques will be open starting March 23. But please don’t get there before me. :)


For another store in Burton that you don’t want to miss, read about Flown the Coop.


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Antiques Week in Burton – Flown the Coop

Twice a year, I’m reminded of one of my favorite things about living in Brenham–Texas Antiques Week happens all around us! Brenham, Round Top, Warrenton, Carmine, and now Burton and Chappell Hill are all destinations for those of us who love vintage, antiques, and junk.

This past fall, most of my trips were just a few hours at a time, so I had to be selective about when and where to stop. One of my favorite mornings was spent in Burton, just 10 miles from Brenham.

Tiffany and Jeff Eckhardt’s Flown the Coop was my first stop.

Tiffany and Jeff made a move to the country and opened Flown the Coop in Burton a year ago. They have been so active helping to put the charming little community of Burton on the map as a shopping destination.

Tiffany has an amazing eye for all things industrial and vintage, and Jeff can repurpose anything unique into something that’s actually functional and unique. Their custom lighting and tables are some of my favorites. He also made some stunning wings out of an antique car hood that made me drool!

In addition to the vintage items, Flown the Coop also has a great selection of T-shirts and local items.

So, the good news is that I snapped some great pics that will give you an idea of Tiffany’s style. The bad news is that these pics are from the fall, so some of this merchandise is already gone. But, wait–there’s more good news– Tiffany has added tons of new items from recent picks and buying trips, so she has an entire store of “new” items to explore. AND she’s already open! (Bonus: Flown the Coop is opened year round!)

There’s Rusty, the sweetest shop kitty you’ll ever meet!

Flown the Coop is active on Facebook and Instagram, so follow them for up to date activity.

Please share the love and tell them you found them via The Shady Acre!

For another store in Burton that you don’t want to miss, read about Bayberry’s Antiques.

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Another Year!

I turned 38 last week. Thirty-eight! What a wonderful age! Not perfect, but okay with it. And that is wonderful.

I was pulling the boys around the yard in the wagon and noticed some berries (from shrubs I chose years ago specifically for the berries—back when I had time for that!). I knew that I should go get my camera to capture their beauty before the opportunity passed. While I’ve been busier photographing for work lately, I haven’t been shooting as much around here. I’m hoping I’ll be doing more of that this year. I miss it, and I need to let the creativity flow.

I preoccupied the boys with some popcorn and grabbed my camera before running to the back of the yard to cut a few clusters of the berries.

It took a few popcorn refills and answering a few–um, a lot–of questions about what I was doing, but I finally was able to snap a few pictures.

And then, this.

So, I retreated to the back porch and draped the berries over the edge of pretty little urn.

I was feelin’ it. Adjusting aperture and angles and shooting away.

Then, I heard Tice holler for me to look at them. I have to admit, I was a little annoyed to be interrupted. When I turned around, my view from the back porch was big brother pulling up his pants after finishing his business in the flowerbed and little brother doing his best impression of the same.

I had to laugh. And take a quick picture, of course. (I added the butterfly in Photoshop, because, you know, the internet…)

With several more distractions from the boys, I only managed to get a few good shots of the berries. But at least I got a few. Which meant I was on track for my new year’s goal. It’s the small victories, ya know.

And a moment of reflection as I was going through the pictures: (Ramble Alert!) On one side, I had stolen a moment to photograph a little bit of beauty. On the other side, loud and proud boys showing me their skills.

I almost said that one is real life and the other is just a pretty vignette. But they are both real life. The beauty + the crazy. Real life is complicated and complex. It is more than just a pretty vignette. It is more than just crazy moments. Combined, it is crazy beautiful. The crazy mom moments make the lovely little vignettes even more appreciated, and the vignettes help give perspective and a little respite from those moments of crazy.

They each make the other more meaningful, more beautiful. I need both. That’s balance for me right now. At thirty-eight. And I need to keep reminding myself these things when I’m wishing that I had a little more time without interruptions. When one side is not enough, I just need to change my perspective.

Happiness is in the embrace of what is, not what is missing.

Cheers to embracing what is in 2016!



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