Thank You!
Let me just start this post by saying a HUGE ‘thank-you’ to all of you for your support during my surgery and recovery. Whether through your cards, visits, phone calls, prayers or even yummy boxes of fresh pears you friends have encouraged my family and I in ways I can’t begin to express. Thank you also for your patience with the shop being closed while I heal. I still have a long way to go BUT I’m so excited to announce that we are OPEN again!! Yay!!

To show my gratitude for your kindness and patience I wanted to do an awesome giveaway for you guys!! There will be over $50 in prizes given away! Enter the giveaway below!

1st prize is our April Softness Yarn wreath valued at $45! Welcome the outdoors, inside, with this luxurious wreath! A simple wreath is wrapped by me in the softest of yarns and then adorned with star anise (hand selected by me) and made to look like spring blossoms. The colors of the yarn fade gently like spring buds from soft purples, greens and blues to pinks, roses, beiges and creams. It features a delicious off white ribbon making it ready to hang right in your home. What a wonderful way to spice up a wall in your home! Don’t forget about Mother’s Day and win this just for Mom!
April Softness Wreath with logo
2nd prize is a yummy $10 gift card from Starbucks since, well, we just love our coffee around here!Starbucks teaser

Come by the shop to say hello and spruce up your home just in time for Spring! Don’t forget to get a jump on one of the holidays below!
May 10th – Mother’s Day
June 21st – Father’s Day
May – June – Graduation

Blessings to you friends, (and good luck!)
Charlotte

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crutches1. Crutches enable one to play a mean game of kickball, soccer, or any ‘ball’ game where you can hit a ball with a crutch!
2. They make awesome sock ‘pick-er-up-er’s’ when trying to do laundry.
3. They are capable of pushing/pulling many different items around the house when said item can’t be picked up.
4. Who knew they would be awesome tickle sticks??
5. They don’t work so well when the 3-year-old has figured out that she is just outside of the radius of your crutches.
6. They also don’t allow you to sneak up on an unsuspecting family member due to their loud squeaking.
7. They make great grocery bag holders when opening doors!
8. They can and will fall out of your grasp at the worst possible time.
9. I’ve found that sometimes folks will go out of their way to help you when on crutches.
10. If you’re on them long enough there are some neat ‘tricks’ you can do on them. (Please don’t let my Dr.’s know about this!)

I sincerely hope this brought a smile to your face and a chuckle to your day friends!! Have a great day!

Blessings to you friends,
Charlotte
bio pic 2

This is by far the hardest most challenging post I’ve written yet. I will be closing the shop for orders from February 15, 2015 – approximately April 1, 2015 in order to have surgery on my dysplastic hip (not just for dogs!) I write this not to elicit sympathy from you friends, but to educate, empower and encourage any who are going through trials of your own right now. So a big ‘thank-you’ to all who take the time to read this. (I know this is longer than the posts I normally write) Although the shop will be closed for orders I’ll still be sending out newsletters, posting on Facebook, etc. as well as having some fun giveaways while we are closed (in between PT appointments) so stay tuned!! Thank you all for your support over the years and for your understanding in this situation!

About hip dysplasia… (the short version)
I started having hip pain about 10 years ago which was misdiagnosed until last August. I found out that I have hip dysplasia (yes people can have this – not just pups) :) and hypermobility syndrome. Both are rare genetic diseases that don’t have an easy fix. (Hip dysplasia is a typically misdiagnosed condition hence my hope is to spare someone the years of pain that I’ve had.) I’ll spare you all the details but basically my joints are very loose and don’t want to stay in place (hypermobility) and my hip sockets aren’t formed right which allows my femur to ‘pop’ out of joint all the time causing damage to the joint and pain (dysplasia). I will be having a Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO) on February 26th. If anyone is interested there is a cool video of the actual procedure that is animated (no blood and guts) but it is pretty graphic. I’ll put the link here. There is a 3-6 month recovery period, much of this non-weight bearing so I got all sorts of awesome crutches and a wheelchair for Christmas! :) Basically all of this to say I’m not exactly sure when I’ll be able to open up the shop full-time again, but I’m aiming for the start of April. (This will depend on when/if I am able to get the other hip done in the Fall too.) Thank you for letting me share some information about this often misdiagnosed condition.

Whew – did you get all of that?? I know my head is still spinning! (and if you’re still reading – thank you!)

Here is the BLESSING of all this! (and this is my short list!)

1. Hope!
After years of chronic pain I have HOPE for a brighter future with far less pain! How beautiful is the word ‘hope!’ I am now able to see what a gift it is to give someone hope, whether big or small. What a blessing…

Hope clouds

2. Strength!
My family has been more than amazing in this journey! My sweet Hubby has been so patient and encouraging as he challenges me to ask for help when I’m not feeling strong. I’ve learned that sometimes only in being weak can you really become stronger. It takes more strength to ask for help sometimes than it does to take care of something on your own. It’s been a joy to watch our girls become more in tune with pain, whether mine or someone else’s, as this has grown a heart of compassion in them that they didn’t have before. They are so sweet to help me when I need it. Amazing friends have come alongside me with prayer and kindness that I’ll never be able to repay. Sometimes though, letting someone help you out ends up blessing them as much as it does you! (I still marvel over this fact daily!) For those times when there isn’t support readily available, or folks are unavailable, it’s been nice to realize that I can be stronger than I ever knew on my own!

Strength

3. Health!
Since I was told 10 years ago to stop all exercise, my diet went out the window too and I packed on an unhealthy amount of weight. I’m so overjoyed that I was told a few exercises that I could do and this jump started healthier eating habits. It’s been so educational to learn how we fuel our bodies and we’ve tried so many new and yummy recipes! This has resulted in a good amount of weight lost and lots of muscle gained, YAY!! I’ve learned how important support is in this area and that support can come in ways we can never imagine! I hope that I will be able to support others the same way I’ve been blessed!

4. Understanding/Compassion/Empathy!
Ever had those days at the store where everything and everyone moved slower than you hoped? Having this condition has forced me to slow down and be more patient with life. I try to be kinder if someone cuts me off, gentler with someone who may be a bit grumpy, and more patient with someone who may not be able to move that quickly. (I don’t always succeed with this, but I’m really working on it.) I have had my eyes opened to those who suffer from ‘invisible’ illnesses that the world can’t see. How different would our world be if we treated everyone with compassion? We are all fighting battles, some seen and some unseen! Let’s be there for each other!

5. Patience!
I’ve learned to be more patient with myself as I complete daily tasks that I used to do with no thought at all. Housework comes to mind! (heehee) I’ve had to be okay with things that don’t get done like they used to – again housework comes to mind. I’m learning to fight back against the guilt that comes when I let the kids or family down because of physical limitations that I now have and focus on the amazing things I CAN do for them! I’m so thankful for a family who has been so very patient with me as we adjust to this new ‘normal.’ And I’m eternally grateful for a God who is even more patient with me as I learn all of this!

6. JOY! (what’s that you say?? no, really, read on!)
We all have a choice everyday – no matter our situations or circumstances. To embrace each day with thankfulness and gratefulness or to worry and fret over what the day will bring. I’m not always able to do this, but if I focus on the little miracles I’m blessed with each day then the pain or struggle doesn’t hold as much power over me! Jut the fact that we wake up breathing to face a new day is a miracle! I now try to treasure each moment snuggling my youngest with a book and it lessens the fact that I can’t be on the floor playing with her. I choose to marvel in my eldest as she shares about her day with me before she goes outside to play instead of feeling sorry for myself that I can’t go jump on the trampoline with her. It’s a joy to watch my family as they have been my rock and support as we go through this together. God has truly blessed me and I will choose to embrace each day with the wonder that He has graced us with!!

Living is Joy

If you are still reading, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Again, I didn’t write this to have anyone feel sorry for me, so please don’t. I know that there are many others fighting harder battles than I. But I do hope that along with learning something about dysplasia your heart has been encouraged that you are not alone in your struggle or pain. Something beautiful can come out of the darkest moments in our lives.

Darkest night

Blessings,

Charlottenew bio

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