This past weekend, On April 27th, Dave and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. I am still in shock we have been married for five years and especially how much we have grown and changed during our marriage. When we were first married we were living carefree in a two-bedroom condo in Uptown Charlotte's Fourth Ward District. We would park our cars after work on Friday and sometimes never leave Uptown until work again on Monday. Fast forward five years and we live in a home in suburban Huntersville, we have two beautiful girls, an angel who watches over us, and I proudly drive a mini van.
One of my fondest memories from our time in our condo was planning our wedding. I loved every aspect of wedding planning. I know some brides say it's overwhelming and stressful but I enjoyed every Pinterest board, wedding magazine, wedding appointment, and dress fitting. I named my blog, overwhelmed, after our wedding song by the same name. I meticulously picked out our color scheme, decor, and especially flowers. I have always loved flowers and I wanted my love of flowers to be seen all over our special day from the rose petals going down the aisle to the beautiful pink peonies which adorned our four-tier wedding cake. My favorite set of flowers from our wedding was my bouquet. I remember talking to my florist about what I wanted my bouquet to look like and she definitely delivered. I still love to look back at pictures of our special day and emmy and elle enjoy watching our wedding video too. (Click below to watch the highlight or to watch the feature you can click here)
Traditionally for a fifth wedding anniversary the gift is, wood. I had thought about what I could gift Dave but then had the thought of something which could be displayed as art in our home and has a very special meaning to us too. I reached out to Bracken Sansbury, owner and artist of Studio Bracken, and asked her to create two pieces, on wooden panels. I am beyond thrilled with how our pieces turned out and how she captured different angles of my bouquet on each piece. We proudly display the pieces between our kitchen and living room, the heart of our home. It makes me happy each day to look at the art because it reminds me of such a happy time, our wedding day, the beginning of our beautiful life together.
I was introduced to Bracken through one of my best friends after Bracken gave birth to her daughter, Maebel. Maebel arrived early and my friend thought it would be comforting for Bracken to hear from a mom who understands the world of the NICU since Maebel was also a micro preemie. I remember introducing myself, via text message, but did not want to include details of my pregnancy and loss since Bracken already had to adjust to her new normal of life in the NICU. I was extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Maebel. Bracken was now part of our unfortunate sisterhood of pregnancy and infant loss but I have full faith Maebel was greeted in heaven with open arms by my sweet Ashley and all the other babies who had left us too soon.
I was happy when I saw on Instagram that Bracken had started to paint and started a new account for all of us to follow her progression as an artist. I am honored she created the pieces for my home and that she is letting me feature her today for my Small Business Saturday Spotlight. I highly encourage you to read about Bracken below in her own words and especially to check out her work on her site, Studio Bracken.
Thank you Bracken for being so open and honest in your five fast facts. You inspire me daily and I know you will help others who have walked a similar path of life after great loss.
Five Fast Facts featuring Bracken Sansbury, owner and artist of Studio Bracken
Five things about me:
1) My husband and I met on the school bus in first grade. I had a crush on him, but in true older boy fashion, he never knew I existed! Throughout school we would always say hi to one another, but never dated. It wasn’t until after college that we reconnected and decided we were meant to be. He’s the best.
2) I cannot get enough coffee…though I try. I could drink coffee ALL DAY, but I have cut back to one or two cups/almond milk lattes a day. I either go by Methodical Coffee or use my home espresso machine to make my beverages. Some people have cocktails…I have coffee.
3) I am a food snob. I love to cook and if I can make it at home better, I don’t want to pay for it. Living in Greenville, SC now, there are only a handful of restaurants I frequent. The Anchorage, GB&D, Sidewall Pizza and Thai Restaurant - to name the top four.
4) I have been lucky enough to have some of the best jobs. Gallery Manager in a few different galleries, Manager at Anthropologie (I mean hello, dream land that I still work at once a week for fun) and now artist! I still work part-time as a manager for Art & Light Gallery but am enjoying creating my own work again.
5) I am doing my first ever art festival this May in Waxhaw, NC - just outside of Charlotte. It takes place the 19th and 20th and I am just over here hustling to get enough work together! Hope to see you there.
As far back as I can remember I loved creating. Growing up I was always on stage or getting into a big mess with art supplies. As with most creatives, I had a hard time settling on what exactly I wanted to be when I grew up. I bounced around from college to college (still graduating in 4 years with degrees in art and business - I can’t believe it!) and finally landed on the gallery business. That scratched my creative itch for quite some time and I got away from making my own art.
A year and a half ago my husband and I had a daughter, Maebel. She decided to come too early and was only able to stay in this world for a week before being called home. It was completely unexpected and we still don’t know exactly what happened. It was, has been, and will continue to be a huge shock and the worst thing we have ever been through. But I am a true believer that even in the worst of circumstances, God has a bigger plan and that I can choose to move through this or let it destroy me. I will keep moving.
After losing Maebel, I had no idea which direction I wanted to go. I felt really lost for a little bit (an sometimes still do), but with the encouragement of my husband and family, I picked up my pencils and paint brushes again and started to create. Never in a million years did I think flowers would be what came out, but I think that the beauty and life behind them is what spoke to me. I wanted to paint life and light. To keep moving and growing and healing.
Life can be a doozy. It is filled with beauty and the deepest of despairs. I will leave you with the wise words of Mick, “You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need.”