Hello, It’s Me.

Hello…..it’s me. I realize it has been awhile…I must have thought a thousand times…that I needed to write something. But it has been a crazy few weeks and time has just slipped by while life has taken over. Today I stop and exhale…for just a brief respite before I dive back into reality. Its funny how the things that you believe are so necessary for creating a happy and fulfilling life can, in an instant, take a back seat to the truly important things…love, friends, family, life. Today I proudly announce the arrival of our precious grandson, Declan, who made his way into the world 1 month ahead of schedule. He is a wee lad, but is absolutely perfect in every way.
Declan and Mom Original LogoCoach and I, along with his mommy and daddy and our collectively amazing extended families, are over-the-moon in love and are so excited to see the changes in him every single day as he grows bigger and stronger. He is surrounded by so much love and caring from both near and afar ( Bartlet the Frenchie is still not quite sure what’s happening, but he’s getting there too : ).

Bartlet Living Room CloseupSo please bear with me for the time being…my posts may be sporatic, but I promise there are many good things to come.  Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! xoxo Susan

The Kindness Diaries

This past week I discovered a new documentary called The Kindness Diaries...One Man’s Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World…have you heard of it?

The Kindness Diaries Amazon.com book Based on a book of the same name, the author, Leon Logothetis,

Leon Logothetisdecided that there were enough good people in the world to help him on this remarkable quest around the world. Traveling penniless, he is solely dependent on the kindness of complete strangers, who, expecting nothing in return, provide him with food, shelter and gas for his (somewhat) trusty vintage yellow motorcycle known as “Kindness One”.

Leon Logothetis Kindness OneHis 25,000-mile “kindness journey” begins in LA, where he encounters the first of many individuals who go out of their way to help him out on his quest to discover the goodness in everyday humans. After the first episode, I was hooked, so I set my DVR for a series recording. In the few episodes I have already viewed, he has traveled across the US and into Europe,

Kindness One Mapintroducing his generous hosts along the way, who oftentimes give him not only a place to stay, but an insight into the struggle of their daily lives. Sometimes, he also gives back in powerful ways…airfare for parents who otherwise could not afford to see their son be married in England…a new cow for a family in Eastern Europe…an apartment for a homeless man in Pittsburgh. In a TV world populated with with TLC drama,  macabre crime shows and the latest ugly politics, it is refreshing to view a show that speaks to the goodness of mankind.  On Verizon, the AWE channel is 669, but you’d have to check your local listings in your area. You can also follow Leon’s adventures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter Leon Logothetis or one of his many other social media outlets. And, following in his footsteps, I will take today, this beautiful, sunny, warm Thursday in Boston, to #GoBeKind (and I hope you will too : ) Susan

The Wedding: The Ceremony

This past weekend I met up with some dear family members that I’m not in touch with very often…except via social media. They were asking me about my daughter’s recent wedding, which made me realize that I never really wrote about it or shared any photos! So, three months later ( boy, how time flies…) here is the beginning of the story…

Kate & Chris in ArborWe had spent a full year planning this wedding, focusing on every detail from decor to dining to the ceremony and music. But what we learned that day is despite your best efforts,  you just cannot control Mother Nature. During the week leading up to the date, we all kept checking our iPhone weather apps and noted little sunny icons in a row with the exception of the zero hour- 5pm on the wedding day-which was clearly marked by a lightning bolt and dark rain clouds. Hmmm. So, with our wedding planner checking the weather continuously on his radar, he decided we should go ahead with the outdoor ceremony as planned and rehearsed, keeping our fingers crossed that we made it before the weather hit.

780The warm, sunny day started out rather promising, with the groom leading many of the wedding guests…

IMG_7944in a Wedding Day 5K along the rocky Maine coastline.

 

While the bride and her party were busy being primpedand pampered by hair stylists and the lovely Kate from Kosmetics by Kate…

IMG_8011preparing for the day ahead.

After their run, the groomsmen were also getting set for the big day

(hair and makeup consultants not necessary here, just a brew or two : )

After the groom and his entourage

made their way to the reception site,

it was time to get some dancing shoes on and get this party started!

As our amazing photographer, Paul Granese, of Paul Granese Photography and other family members snapped away, creating pictorial mementos to last a lifetime,

in the bright, hot sunshine,

IMG_8072there were umbrellas at the ready to protect everyone from the heat…

so we optimistically assumed it was all going to be fine.

But, as the ceremony time rolled near and our guests gathered in their seats on the green expanse of lawn near the lighthouse…

Seated Guestsominous, threatening black storm clouds gathered overhead,

so we quickly gathered the wedding party together to begin the ceremony. Just as the dashing FOB (Father of the Bride, for those wedding-uninformed : ) took our daughter’s arm to begin their walk down the aisle,

the first gentle raindrops fell. Someone from the crowd dashed over to hand him an umbrella to protect the beautiful bride…

IMG_8151and as the first notes of the lilting folk music were sung by the lovely Andrea Magee of BeatRoot– the ceremony was interrupted by a startling flash of lightning and a tremendous clap of thunder.

BeatRoot Ceremony SongAt which point the wedding planner raced down the aisle and asked the bride and groom if they would like to move the ceremony inside…which they agreed would be a good  fantastic idea…

…creating a scene right out of an adventure film…everyone ducking for cover and looking back over their shoulders

Guests Running from Rainwhile scrambling to race inside as the pelting rain soaked suit jackets and shawls and created a “bad hair day” for all…

…and a pond of water where the lawn games had been played just moments before.IMG_8189But then, something quite magical happened. Dampened by the downpour but not shaken, the bridal party quickly reassembled, then entered the small function room (not really meant for the size of this crowd) to cheers and applause,

something you don’t often see at a wedding ceremony…and exchanged their loving

Vowsand oftentimes quite humorous vows,

surrounded by a very close circle of family and friends.

Circle of LoveWas this our ceremony space of choice? Nope. But it was perfectly suited for this happy couple and their guests…providing a much more intimate and moving ceremony that ended with a rousing rendition of “All You Need Is Love” by BeatRoot (and our guests : ).All You Need Is LoveA crazy start to an unforgettable wedding day celebration!  Part Two: The Party is next! Have a great weekend everyone-hope it doesn’t rain on your special day! Susan

Taking a Blogging Break-Phew!

As you may (or may not) have noticed, I have not been doing a lot of blogging recently. Life is a bit crazy right now, with the upcoming wedding taking full priority in our lives. Along with the ongoing wedding decor projects and prepping our home and yard for out-of-town guests that will be staying here, as well as keeping the shop stocked in the Barn at Todd Farm, well…I just haven’t had a lot of time for anything resembling writing. I am doing lots of DIY projects at a fast pace, but just don’t have the time to stop and photograph them, as well as write the DIY info out for the blog. Add to that, the fact that I STILL don’t have a dress for the wedding (YIKES!) and you can see that my stress levels are starting to climb just a wee bit. AND, to top it all off, my emails are being hacked continuously; I change the password frequently, and no sooner is it done then I receive more email spam from ME!! So, I am pulling all of my gmail emails from this time forward. If you receive any from countrydesignhome@gmail.com with promises of anything from free money to all kinds of “ahem” enhancers, they are not from me- please just delete them! So I am closing down that account and changing all of my accounts over to a new hosted email. Which will take awhile in between all of my other daily craziness. So, my plan is to take a break and focus on the tasks at hand and return after the wedding fun is done. I promise I will take lots of pics for future blog posts! Once my new email is in place, you will receive them from susan@countrydesignhome.com.

In the meantime, have a great summer everyone and if you want to check in with me, head up to the Barn at Todd Farm any Sunday…

xoxoSusan

 

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