Have you ever met someone that you felt like you clicked with right away and you just knew this person was amazing? Good! Me too!
Let me take you back to the beginning of the story. Once upon a time, I came across a blog called Thistlewood Farms in a Google search. I was hunting for ideas on how to update flooring while on a budget. An article called, Painted Plywood Sub-Floor caught my eye. So I clicked on it…
Mind you, at that time, I didn’t really know what a blog was, let alone that you could subscribe to people’s newsletters. WHAT?! Seriously? Heck yeah, sign me up! I promise you, at that time, I hadn’t just climb out from under a rock! 😉
As I read through this DIY, I loved her engaging writing style! It made me feel like she was talking to me over coffee and explaining to me how to do this project.
I was so excited that I was going to start getting her newsletters! Most of all, I thought, it would keep me from missing any new blog posts she might have!
In the meantime, I browsed around her blog and read several other posts and was totally hooked! I literally wanted her as a BFF!
As each newsletter came, I eagerly read through them. Laughing, nodding and smiling as I went. Since I’m a get involved type of person (I can’t keep my mouth shut), I began commenting on her posts. Well, lo and behold, she responded to ME! What? This amazing blogger was replying to my comments? Oh, happy day!
As I continued to comment on her posts, KariAnne would often reply, which of course, made me feel exceptionally happy! I thought to myself, I want to be like her someday…
Meeting KariAnne the first time!
Through KariAnne’s blog, I found out about an amazing event called, The Becoming Conference. When I saw it was to be held in my home state of North Carolina I knew I wanted to go!
A dear friend said she would join me for this ultimate girls’ getaway! So now it would be doubly fun!
I wanted to meet KariAnne and since she was one of the presenters, that was, even more of an incentive for me to attend!
Due to my job at the time, I almost didn’t get to go! They were already going to be short staffed during the time I wanted off. Luckily they were able to work it out so I could take the time off to attend the conference! Whew!
My friend and I signed up to take the class KariAnne was teaching at the conference. When the time arrived for her class, I was over the moon excited! Doesn’t everyone want to meet someone they look up to? I sure did!
As KariAnne went around the room answering questions and visiting with everyone, she was just as bubbly and sweet as I thought she would be!
When she got to our table, I started to introduce myself and before I could say my last name she called it out! WOW, she knew my name! It was such a warm feeling to finally get to meet this lovely soul face to face! She hugged me and told me she was so happy to meet me.
I shared with her how I wanted to start a blog so she pulled up a chair and began to encourage me to follow my dreams! Her encouragement and enthusiasm were honest and from her heart. Which is very RARE these days!
To blog or not to blog…
I had known deep down for well over a year that I wanted to give blogging a try and her encouragement was just what I needed. In my heart, I know that God places different people in our lives for certain reasons and KariAnne is certainly one of those people.
Almost 30 years ago when my daughters were very young, I had a desire to do something crafty. I also knew that I wanted to share the creative gifts God had blessed me with.
I taught different classes at craft stores back then and thoroughly enjoyed it. As time passed, my days began to be filled with other responsibilities. So I had to set aside my desire to share my creativity.
Although there were times over the years when I had the opportunity to resurrect these gifts for a brief period, they always seemed to get shuffled away too soon.
Back then, there was no such thing as a blog and there was no internet. At times I would write short stories that only I would read. Always knowing in my heart there had to be some way I could share these ideas with others.
Fast forward to the twenty-first century. When the idea of starting a blog hit me, it was all I could think about in my spare time. I made notes about the blog posts I could write. Any project I did around the house I photographed for future use. As well as lots of other things I thought would be important!
Twice in one year!
One Saturday early last fall, as I was scrolling through my social media I saw a post that KariAnne was going to be showcasing her new fabric line in a quilt store near my home! I hustled around to get everything done and headed down there! I hate to say it, but I was a few minutes late.
As I tried to quietly enter the room where she was talking about her GORGEOUS new Sweet Tea fabric she quickly recognized me and welcomed me warmly.
After the fabric presentation was done, she spent some wonderful one on one time with me encouraging me to start my blog. She explained that it wasn’t going to be easy, but it was going to be totally worth it! She shared tons of terrific information with me that day that was so helpful to me!
That afternoon I had the honor of meeting her husband and one of her sons as well as seeing her twins again! I had the pleasure of meeting these two lovely young ladies at the Becoming Conference last summer while they assisted KariAnne during her presentations. I still need to meet her oldest son, hopefully some day!
A leap of faith.
After chatting with her that afternoon, I decided I was going to start a blog! I began researching in earnest everything I could to learn about blogging. I started reading more blogs to see what they looked like, how they were written, etc.
Finally, in November I plucked up the courage and bought an online course that taught me how to do the actual setup of my website. I was still working full time and would come home, make dinner, then work on the website stuff for another 4 to 5 hours a night! I WANTED TO DO THIS no matter what!
In January of this year, KariAnne and I talked at length about what my next steps as a blogger would be. As always, her encouragement was fantastic.
I hired a company to add the finishing touches to my website and finally went live on March 1st! Guess who the first person was to comment on my blog…Yep! KariAnne!
I thank God that He placed this amazing woman in my life! She has kept up with me throughout my cancer journey. Sending her prayers and positive thoughts to me. Even calling and emailing me to check how I’m doing. I am so thankful to call her my friend!
So Close To Amazing!
When KariAnne shared with me last year that she was writing a book I was so excited for her! So Close to Amazing is due to be released on September 5! You can preorder it today on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books A Million. Don’t miss out on this wonderful memoir! I promise you will LOVE it!
I’m so thankful had the privilege of reading this book early as part of her book launch team. I can hardly wait for everyone else to get the opportunity to enjoy this heartwarming story! It will literally have you laughing out loud at times! You will see yourself reflected in her stories as well, which is an added bonus!
KariAnne lets you know that it’s okay not be perfect and that getting it almost right is just fine! As she says, perfectionism is overrated! We all just need to simply embrace our REAL selves! I couldn’t agree more! This story is definitely one we can all relate to. We just need to find the amazing in us that was there all along!
As a bonus, if you are into DIY, there are many beautiful projects throughout the book for you to try. You don’t have to be a DIY superstar to try these fun and easy ideas for your home!
If you are looking for a thoughtful gift, So Close To Amazing would be perfect to give to someone special in your life. This would also be a fantastic book to read with your book club! The conversations it will evoke would make for a great time!
I feel blessed beyond measure!
In all honesty, this book was exactly what I needed to read right now and I can’t thank you enough, KariAnne for allowing me to be a part of this. Write on, my friend, write on!
Now more than ever, I want to be the best blogger that I can. I want to be a mentor for someone like KariAnne has been to me! THANK YOU for everything you have done to help me. I appreciate all the questions you’ve answered, the encouraging pep talks you gave me, and MOST of all for being my friend!
Your reassurances throughout my leap into blog land have made me realize, I’ve got this, truly! I appreciate all your prayers more than you will ever know. You are beyond amazing in your red lipstick and I am so lucky to have you in my life! God bless you!
So what’s next on the blog?
I’m so excited to finally be able to share this with you! Are you sitting down? Okay, good…Mr. Man and I just closed on nearly 40 acres of land about an hour north of us! We are really looking forward to getting the land enrolled in the American Tree Farm System!
Please join me next week for all the details about this exciting new adventure! See you then!