A few weeks ago, my daughter and I took a trip in celebration of her 13th birthday. Because my girl adores horses and all things country/western (#RaisingHerRight) and because my sister lives in Texas, we traveled to the Lone Star State to visit her as well as visit the Ft. Worth Stockyards. And since Faith loves Fixer Upper as much as I, we took the opportunity to visit Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, Texas.
Great day, did we have some fun together in Downtown Waco.
In a way that leans toward genuinely building community, the folks at Magnolia Market offer visitors a variety of things to do while there. Kids can swing on large wooden swings. Families can play catch on the lawn and grab lunch from one of several food trucks. (The grilled cheese sandwiches from the Cheddar Box = blow-your-mind awesome). Faith and I enjoyed wandering around their garden area at the seed and supply store. And of course, anyone can shop in their showroom/grain barn full of farmhousey, Joanna-style goodies. But what is most attractive is how collectively these options work together to create an experience that is relaxing and fun, not overwhelming or pushy. We could have slipped in and out without spending a dime and no one would have noticed.
(However, we did spend a few dimes there, as evidenced by my new shirt.)
I thought about the signature look of the relaxed Magnolia environment as I strolled around that day. Although I love farmhouse style and follow several instagram accounts dedicated to it, my home’s interior isn’t all white with neutral colored furniture and accents. But I’m drawn to other homes that are because of the way those homes make me feel, not because that’s how I style my own home. To me, they are open and inviting, and I want to plop down inside them and stay a while.
Within my own home, I want to mimic the welcoming attitude of Magnolia, even if it’s in my own way. My own style may not look the same, but it can still be whimsical, light, inspiring, and just plain happy.
Honestly, it’s the same reason I read authors whose writing style and beliefs differ from my own. As long as their attitude is welcoming rather than exclusionary, I can read and learn from their work and still be inspired to create something that’s true to how God wired me.
And that’s one thing visiting Magnolia taught me about the best kind of creativity: more than anything else, it must spring from a place of connection. Even if the content or look doesn’t necessarily reflect my own style, it’s easily approachable nature invites me to stay and learn from it.
When it comes to my writing here at Chasing Blue Skies, I know there are so many things I should do differently. For example, I’m slow to embrace the always changing roads of social media and technology. The internet moves at a million miles an hour, and in some ways I’m still riding horseback on the Pony Express. But no matter how things change, I hope what you always find here is my real-deal desire to offer a safe place for connection.
Even if my sanguine personality makes you roll your eyes.
Even if you get tired of me talking about country music.
Whether or not my style matches or contrasts your own, I hope you feel a connection here. I hope that in my own laid-back, non-fussy way, you feel loved on.
Because you are.
If I could, I would hand deliver each of you your own #shiplap shirt. (That is, if you wanted one.) But what I can do is say thank you for sticking it out here with me, for being a part of my posse. I really couldn’t love you more.
Will you still love me even if I have to google “shiplap” because I’ve never, ever heard of it before?
Ha! Of course. I didn’t know what it was till I started watching the show!
Michele Oleary says
Love the Fixer Upper show…love your blog…connection to the two…the love for Christ.
Shannon Linde says
I love this post and your blog!! Live moves so quickly, I appreciate a safe place to land when i open up your page! And I love shiplap!!
Your comment is one of my favorites ever. Thank you, Shannon.
And I love shiplap too! I’ve seen it several times but never knew what it was until I saw the show.
Jenn O says
Looks like a great place to visit. I just started watching Fixer Upper on Netflix to see what all the hoopla is about. I enjoy reading your posts. It’s like a friend sitting down for coffee and talking about what’s going on.
We first got into it via Netflix as well. What DID we do before Netflix, anyway?
You’re always welcome to my table, Jenn. So glad to have you here!
Beth Williams says
I grew up on country music. Back in the 1980s when hair bands were in I was listening to Statler Bros., The Judds, and others. I love everything country. If I had my way I’d be living on a large farm in the country with horses and cowboy outfits.
I love Fixer Upper. The couple are so sweet and seem unpretentious. Also love your writing. It is enjoyable to read and follow you and your family!
Thank you sweet Beth!
And I agree about Chip and Jo. They beautifully represent what a healthy marriage looks like.
Jennifer Camp says
So grateful for your warm, loving heart here, Kristen. And what a wonderful mother-daughter trip!
Nina C says
As I read your blog this morning, I found myself nodding in understanding. Your style is different than mine, but when I read your post, I’m always a little envious that I can’t stop by for a cool drink and a little chat. I love how you find the best in family, things, and in life. I know it’s not always easy but I like to think I learn a little from you.
Kristin Taylor says
I love this post. You’re so right that creativity is as unique as each of us created in the image of our Maker yet with our own personality. My 9-year-old girl and I are quite addicted to Fixer Upper too. 🙂
I like your emails very much. For one thing, in a world where so many people seem to be dissatisfied with where they are & what they are doing, it’s nice to read a post written by someone whine can tell genuinely likes writing that post. I didn’t know about the show. Is it on Internet tv? How can I find it? Thanks
Nancy, it’s on tv (hgtv) but we first got into it on Netflix. 🙂
Thanks so much for your kind words. They are a gift to me!