my house is trashed - sorry

I find myself apologizing a lot when people come over the house lately.  

Maybe it's the giant cardboard Charlie Brown house spilling open with My Little Ponies that greets you in the foyer.  Or perhaps it is the front room sewing room that is a piled mess of fabric, thread, and ribbons.  Then there is the perilous journey from the front door to the family room jumping over the Thomas the Train tracks.  

I'm sorry that you might need help moving mountains before you can sit on the sofa.  It is often littered with football cards, legos and such.  

Looking for clean clothes, dishes or such - I might say sorry there too.

It's not that the house is filthy, It is just not Better Homes and Gardens perfect.  

But what it is is life.  
A good life.
A real life. 

 A recognition that the kids won't remember how many loads of laundry that were put up but rather homemade meals around the table together.
They won't look back on childhood thankful that we had a pristine dining room that never housed a fancy meal but rather a room full of imagination and laughter. 

This house is real, and the door is always opened.  

It doesn't matter that the floors are polished and that the toys are picked up. 

What matters is that you know you are welcomed.  No matter the time, you are welcomed.  And we are thankful that you came.  

This is real life, this is a good life - a life meant to be shared. 

So when I say sorry I'm not.  I'm not sorry that we are enjoying life.  I'm not sorry that I choose time with my children over folding laundry.  I'm sorry, I'm not sorry. 


Riding the Elevator

Part of a business series I am writing for those of you (especially mamas) thinking of starting a handmade business.  Hopefully we can connect soon!  

The Elevator Speech.  

Ah the 30 seconds, at best that you give it your all.  You sell yourself in less time then it takes to spell your name out loud.  The elevator speech is so so very important as you market your business outside the internets.  

The elevator speech really doesn't need to take place in an elevator but it does have certain components to every time you say it.  

How to recognize the time for the elevator speech opportunity.

1. you are with total strangers
2. you are with people who know you but don't know what you do
3. you have 20 - 30- seconds to answer the question, "what do you do."
4. there is no one to speak "above."

Nuts and Bolts of the Speech

1. who are you?
2. what do you do?
3. how do you do it?
4. when do you do it?
5. why do you do it? 

The basics we learned in 2nd grade.  This is where you are.  You have 20-30 seconds to let someone know how passionate you are about what you create.  Why you spend sleepless nights doing what you do.  And how they can buy your goods (uber importante!).

I am constantly changing my elevator speech.  Every week I evaluate what my speech looks like.  It keeps in me in touch with my business, it affords opportunity for me to dream, and maybe it will show in a sale.  

Right now, #sofour's elevator speech often looks something like this.

Hi I'm Heather.  I sell and blog about my art filled sewn pieces of everyday items that promote a positive message in a bright and colorful way.  You can find my pieces on Etsy, Facebook and by using the hashtag #sofour.  (then the traditional handing of the business card).  

It's not perfect, but right now it is me.  My elevator speech keeps in line with tag line.  It holds true to my branding ideals. This elevator speech can be changed based on my audience - a very important details.  

I have used my elevator speech at the kid's schools, at a recent craft show, at the local cafe - the possibilities of telling people about what you do are infinite.  

As much as the elevator speech is a very important part of your package, what it more important is that your audience leaves interested and inspired.  

The #sofour community would love to hear your speech - share it!  That is the best practice! 



I really wanted to rip his throat out......

The other night my husband had the coconuts to say, "landing pad."  Just hearing those words made me unglue.  

Are you serious?  Another temporary situation?  Can we find somewhere to make memories?  Can't we have enough time to change the paint color?  A landing pad just isn't in my vocabulary.  What the heck was he thinking?  I send him to a landing pad - on his rear end.  

But there is truth in finding a "landing pad".  We need a place to land.  A place to find refuge.  Somewhere to experience safety.  Somewhere to rest.  Some time to find out what and who we really are.  

But parking on a landing pad is near impossible.  You can't stay - not for long - you have to keep moving in threat of getting run over.  A landing pad is the place to gather strength for the next take off - and you always need to be ready to go! 

Your landing pad might be in your significant other's arms.  It might be in a phone call with your dad.  Landing pads can be large and small.  There can be crashing waves and white sand in your landing pad.  Children will find laughter at your landing pad.  Life will continue to grow while resting on the landing pad.  Real friends will be found and lost when you find your landing pad.  Faith will be tested. 

In the last three years, Michael and I have had a ton of take offs and landings.  We found a landing pad in a small group of loyal faithful friends.  Landing in a new church has given us the chance to find a place of rest and refuge as we find out how much faith we really have.  Our community has stepped up to act as a family in a time when ours turned their backs.  Simple times have lead to a landing pad for our marriage to discover something new about our commitment.  

So as our family begins to take off again I'm praying that we recognize the landing pad that God has stepped ahead and prepared for us.