My heart has been very heavy for our city these past couple of days. I have had a lot of thoughts on the recent events of Ferguson and the St. Louis area in its entirety. I have been silently sitting back and listening to the voices of many, on both sides of what is going on. Whomever it may be, I believe we all know at least somebody that is affected by this in some way, shape or form, whether it be directly or indirectly.
What I have loved though? The way that St. Louis is coming together to make a positive impact and change on this city. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of harm being done and a lot of negativity among many, but there are positive things happening too that many people aren’t seeing. Last night our church held a prayer service focusing on our city. Following the service, Tim and I went to South Grand where much damage had occurred during a protest/rioting the night before, but what we saw as the aftermath was amazing. Many of the local businesses were boarded up either because of sustained damage or to prevent anything further from occurring, but local artists spent the day in this community painting these boards with positive and encouraging words and thoughts. It was truly an amazing sight to see. It was very surreal eating inside a restaurant with its windows boarded up to the outside world (and it’s still very hard to believe that this is happening right here at home and isn’t something we’re only seeing on TV), but seeing the amount of people that were inside and walking around South Grand visiting the other restaurants and looking at the artwork too was enlightening and inspiring.
There are also some individuals organizing #HealSTL, #STLTogether and #PayItForwardSTL campaigns via social media, and seeing the ways that people all around St. Louis are paying it forward with small, subtle acts of kindness is amazing. These types of things make my heart happy, but especially now in such a time of need for our city.
I believe that everyone should have a voice, an opinion, a right to be heard, and I’m grateful that we’re given that opportunity, but I also believe that there are safe ways to do this that will lead to a much more positive impact in the long run. I hope that many of us will truly open up our eyes and ears to see what’s happening, to listen to how everyone feels on every side of the situation, no matter the race or social class or whatever other differentiating factors there may be, and to be understanding of what is going on. Everyone is hurting. Ultimately, I hope that St. Louis will rise above, and I believe that with the amazing people that are in this city, that is exactly what will happen. Even with all of the negativity that surrounds, the positive changes being made are making me love St. Louis more and more. It’s crazy to think that this is something big that our children are going to be reading about in their history books some day (around the globe even), but I want to have the opportunity to say that somehow, even if it’s in the smallest of ways, I was a part of the positive things that are being done in our city. Even if it’s just one small act of kindness that I can share with someone today.
Peace and love,
Winter made its first little sneak peek this weekend, even though it’s really still fall, and we haven’t even quite gotten around to Thanksgiving just yet. Alas, yesterday was already our first snow day of the season with a couple of inches of snow on the ground and flakes falling from the sky when we left church. I’ve been loving my fur sweater vest this season, so yesterday was seemingly the perfect flannel and fur kind of day (both Target finds might I add!). The flannel was a fall Target find from two years ago, but still one of my seasonal favorites. I’ve been having a lot of fun shopping my own closet lately and pairing the old with the new.
I’m not the world’s biggest fan of winter, but I have to admit, the scenes from yesterday’s snowfall were gorgeous and paired perfectly with a red cup from Starbucks (peppermint mocha holiday drink of course!) and some cheery Christmas tunes. I may not love winter, but Christmastime is my favorite, so sometimes you have to give a little, right?! 😉 according to my social media feeds, it seems like just about everyone took the snow day as an early opportunity to put up the Christmas tree. We haven’t gone that far just yet, but I’m not sure how much longer I can wait. We’ll see if I can hold out until after Thanksgiving. In the meantime, we’ve got lots of other exciting things in our lives to focus on (more on that to come soon).
Have you heard about Target’s latest designer collaboration? I am beyond excited for this one! TOMS is a brand that I have been passionate about since its start. I purchased my first pair of TOMS Shoes in college, and my collection has grown immensely in a variety of styles since, and not just in terms of shoes (I’ve got a pair of sunglasses too which I actually received a gift card for from TOMS a few years back to blog about their one for one eyeglass mission that was new to the company at that time). I love a brand with a mission. Being a fan of Target’s seasonal designers, I was thrilled to hear about their most recent collaboration with TOMS this holiday season. Not only will they offer exclusive TOMS Shoes in the store, but there will also be clothing items and home goods. Shoes, meals and blankets are some of the ‘one for one’ donations that will be seen during this campaign. I’ve got my eye on the blankets and hope to purchase one as soon as the campaign arrives in stores this holiday season. Find out more about TOMS for Target in last month’s Forbes article here: http://goo.gl/otRptR
Photos by SHD Photography
In mid-October, we were finally able to see all of the beautiful colors of fall. The trees everywhere looked incredible. I went for a run and almost resisted snapping yet another Instagram photo of the fall leaves because I felt like I’d already posted so many (‘basic,’ right?!), but I just had to take yet another. The leaves were irresistible. My dear friend Shannon of SHD Photography (I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about her a time or two by now 😉 ) sent me a text message right away and said she needed to photograph those trees stat. It’s fun having a close friend whom is also a professional photographer and whom also lives just a few blocks away from us. We grabbed Bentley and went for a walk the following Sunday to meet Shannon where she snapped a few photos of us amongst the gorgeous colors of fall in the city in the combination of the most beautiful fall weather too. She’s been shooting a lot of film lately and wanted to use us as another film experiment. Naturally, we obliged. Bentley looks so handsome on film, I have to admit. I love seeing Shannon’s work on so many of our close friends, and it’s so much fun to be a part of it too! It seems like all of the pretty leave have already so quickly fallen from the trees, but at least I’ve got these photos to stare at for the rest of the season. Thanks for being amazing as usual, Shannon!