Monday, September 28, 2015

dreams realized

Me, in my Farm Girl glory.  Ha! 
photography by Shar Rother

I'm not a dreamer.  I'm the daughter of a man who held the same job at a desk until he retired and a woman who held stable jobs along the way to her retirement.  We are do-ers, not dreamers.

So when I married Mr. Mister, I was thrown for a loop.  What are all these dreams you talk of?  Please! Put them away!  Just go do your job, make your money, and let us be stable folk like I know how to be!

And yet.... God had a few things to teach me about the dreams He WANTS us to have.

I rode along for 16 years on the coat-tails of my dreamy (er...) DREAMER husband.  He took our family all over town to new houses.  He led us to own rent houses, sell them, and make money.  He dreamed about starting businesses.  And he taught me a lot along the way to let go of my NEED to control.  Because dreams are really just letting go of control!  I can't be in control and dream big!  I like to say that I'm a Type A personality in remission.  God has healed my need to be the one who always had the wheel.

So back in February, seven short months ago, I was doin' my thang.  Working at my job, homeschooling my son, remodeling a new home, and plugging along like I know how to do.  And that's when the dream began.

I was texting Carol about this Little Craft Show in NW Arkansas.  We were both obsessed with it.  We both wanted to drive out and attend.  We loved the idea.  We loved the vendors we saw online.  We loved.

She said to me: Let's do our own little craft show!  MY reply?  Yah!  Let's do it!
The difference here was that she was serious and I was half kidding.

The more we talked about where and what we would do, the more we realized together that this really was an actual possibility.  We can't do it alone, she said.  Let's bring in our mutual friend Lindsi!  YES.  This would be good.

photo courtesy of the amazing Shar Rother

And so Farm Girl Fair began.... in a bar, at a table with salads and wine and hearts full of anticipation.  Carol brought us each a little notebook and Lindsi brought us cute pens.  We needed to plan with style, you know!

We asked questions.  We took notes.  We found areas of common ground on the important stuff.  And our dream was small.  We were afraid to ask for much more!  We brainstormed names for our little event.  We chose a price for admission.  Carol suggested we give our admission money to a charity.   She was involved intimately with the Center for Children and Families in Norman.  Let's give it to them!  YES! we all agreed.

And our dream took root.  We began meeting every few weeks, working through details and inventing the wheel.  We didn't need a handbook on how to throw a fair because our vision was unique.  Let's plan the whole thing around the Charlotte's Web fair we always had in our minds as kids.  Bunting strung everywhere.  Pigs to pet.  Horse rides.  A blue-ribbon pie contest.  Entertainment.  The list went on and on.  And as our excitement grew, so did our vision.  We poured our hearts and souls into the details.

When we began looking for vendors, we called our crafty friends.  We created a website.  And we promoted on facebook and insta.  We sat back and waited.  And God showed us just how BIG He could make our little dream.

Our dream began with 20 vendors and a pasture with a hayride.  But this weekend?  50 vendors, activities for kids, kettle corn, Italian Ice, a bustling marketplace, and 3 women overcome with JOY.

Let me tell the story in pictures.

Wilbur, of course.

Charlotte, who showed up, like a gift from God that morning in Lindsi's booth.

AND THEN... just like in the Field of Dreams movie... IF you build it, THEY WILL COME.
And did they come!  The cars stretched for a MILE down the road.  {TEARS, PEOPLE}

The one and only Caryn Ross!  Sassy Mama herself!

These sweet girls made cookies and brownies to die for

 My little booth... not much, but something!

Our pie judges!  Caryn Ross, Terri Owens, Rob Standridge, and Bill Niebur
The winner was a Salted Caramel Drowned Turtle Pie.  Hmmmmm, with a name like that, can you imagine how they won?? Haha!

The Three Farmgirls... Carol, Kim, and Lindsi

And now, folks, for the FUN part.  
That night, after all the vendors had packed up and left, precious friends came over with food and drinks.  They fed us, made yummy club specials, and counted the money that was made at the gate.  This picture was right before we made guesses on how much we could donate to CCFI.  Right before we all cried tears of JOY.  Right before we realized, fully, how BIG our dream had become.  What we had ACTUALLY accomplished. 

I guessed $3,000.
Carol guessed $2,000.
Lindsi guessed $4,000.

But we were all LOW.

Seven thousand seven hundred twenty four dollars.
$7,724!  WHA WHA?????
Yes.  That.

Dream big, y'all.  DREAM BIG.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Farm Girl Fair

Warning!  This is my shameless plug for the Farm Girl Fair.

We are less than a month out now for the Farm Girl Fair, people!  Less than 30 days until over 50 vendors of handmade things come to the Sandy River Ranch and set up shop!  I can not tell you how excited and stressed and nervous I am.  My two girls and I text all day long, every day.  The artistically talented Lindsi Niebur, The Unlikely Farmgirl Carol Bauman and I are working our tails off to remember EVERY. LAST. DETAIL.

There's nothing like inventing a wheel.  Which is really what we're doing.

There's no handbook for how to throw a fair.  But that's good!  Because we get to invent it ourselves!  And we have so many cute details to pull off.  It's going to be awesome.

What IS the Farm Girl Fair, you ask?  It's an old fashioned "County Fair" feel (think Charlotte's Web) with vendors that lean more towards artsy than craftsy, live entertainment, a Pie Tasting Contest (wanna enter?  There's still room!  But time is running out.  Click here to enter!), a petting zoo, hay rides, and a Farm Girl Fair Photo Booth.  There will be a make and take area for kids and food vendors for the hungry.  Yes, this is a BIG DEAL.  A lot of details to be pulled off.  But we are well on our way!  And we're super excited.

My guest room has turned into my personal Farm Girl Fair headquarters.  I told hubby to expect a mess for the next month.  "Just look away" I say.  ;)

So here it is, my beautiful mess:

That produced these, among other goodies...

Y'ALL.  We are having fun preparing.  Check out this cutie from The Unlikely Farmgirl!  She'll kill me for posting it, but HELLO??  HOW CUTE IS IT???

AND WHAT THE WHA?  How cute are these cake toppers from our very own Lindsi Niebur??

See you at the Fair!