Tuesday, August 13

Joan's Legacy

From the Gerald & Joan blog:
Ten years ago today, my dear grandma became my guardian angel. Although she has been physically absent from this earth for a third of my life, she has been present in my heart every day for the past ten years. During that last week of summer, I was fortunate to sit by her side before I flew home to start my first semester at the University of Mississippi. Less than 24 hours after my plane landed at Memphis International Airport, I received the dreaded call that she was gone. Three days later, I made the tear-filled journey to Oxford, and I became friends with my next door neighbor, a person from my adopted hometown who shared my history, values and quirks. It is still hard for me to believe they’ll never know each other, because they share so many similar traits. If she could have picked my future husband, she would have chosen Jonathan Hardin.
A decade later, the role she plays in our lives is more apparent than ever. Most obvious is the homegrown business that shares her name. Gerald & Joan has forced us to have conversations about our home, family, and children, and it has also allowed us to spend more time focusing on the areas of life that truly matter.
Next week, we’ll honor Joan’s legacy by putting down roots closer to our families in a home where we’ll add millions of beautiful new memories with the people we love. In the heart of our new home is the studio that she and Jonathan’s grandfather, Gerald, inspired. The studio will officially open for business on Tuesday, September 10, her 80th birthday, and with it comes everything Jonathan and I dreamed of when we first began discussing the idea of Gerald & Joan.
Thank you for your love and prayers today and every day. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received since we launched Gerald & Joan in February, and we’re proud to be starting this next chapter with you.

Wednesday, July 24

Summer in Memphis

Since our house listed at the very beginning of the month, we have had more free time for fun (walks at Shelby Farms, a trip to the peach orchard in Millington), but we've been tied to Memphis with the exception of a one-day trip to Booneville to visit family for Jonathan's birthday.

For people who are always forging ahead, this "in-between" time has been good for us. We aren't looking forward or back...we're just living in our house, enjoying the summer, picking a few tomatoes (that came from seeds from last year's garden), walking Porter, trimming back the roses, cutting the grass and bushes and listening to all of the summer storms.

We know what's ahead...packing, moving, saying goodbye to this house and another chapter of our lives. We're excited about a new chapter, but this little house is very much a part of who we are. Closing that door won't be easy. Tears will be shed. Five and a half years of our lives have gone by since we moved into our home, and they have passed so quickly. I wish we just hit the pause button for a while...

In Gerald & Joan/family news, Chris and Lauren's wedding was featured on the national wedding blog, Rustic Wedding Chic, on Monday. Here's the link on the story. I took a screenshot of the homepage, because it was featured FRONT AND CENTER on Monday (since then it has moved down the slideshow). How awkward am I, by the way? I am the only one looking directly into the camera....what a weirdo!


Tuesday, June 25


Do you believe in signs?

When a lady bug crawls up your leg as you're making one of the biggest decisions of your life, do you take that as a sign? In my childhood homes in Booneville, lady bugs were like a part of the family. During certain times of the year, they were everywhere. In the five and a half years we've lived in this house, I can count the number of lady bugs I've seen inside on one hand. On the rare occasion I do find one, I relocate it to the rose bushes (lady bugs eat aphids, a common rose pest). I haven't seen more than a couple outside either. Maybe the robins eat them? We have tons of robins in our yard. Who knows.

Today we were deep in conversation with our Realtor when I felt something on my leg. Fearing a spider, I brushed it off and then looked down to see a lady bug. Perhaps it's crazy, but I immediately felt better about everything. This lady bug had to be good luck, right?

It certainly felt that way to me, but I guess time will tell. :)

Wednesday, June 19

This week in history...

For some reason, this week plays a big role in my family's history. 

Twenty-one years ago this Saturday, my mother, sister and I boarded a plane bound for Memphis International Airport and a new life in Booneville, Mississippi. My dad stayed in England to sell our house. We didn't know then that our family would never truly reconnect. The house sold and my dad came to the States, but his music industry background was not a good fit for Mississippi or even Nashville. Work took him to New York City, and for the next 20 years, he spent the majority of his time on the road. 

Today, almost 21 years after our family parted ways in a crowded London airport terminal, my parents are officially divorced. There isn't any point in dwelling on the whys (sort of obvious, I suppose) and what ifs, but it seemed fitting to mark this day with a blog post. It's also important to mention that my sister and brother-in-law buy their first house this afternoon, and we will sell our Oxford condo on Friday. 

Ten years ago, the condo was nearing completion. I was moving out of my parents' house in Booneville and heading to Ole Miss. It was the most difficult summer of my life (perhaps even more difficult than the summer of 1992). I was recovering from a painful breakup that wouldn't end, I was in school all summer, I was getting ready to leave home forever and although we didn't know it just yet, my grandma was dying of cancer. I remember our first July 4th in that condo, celebrating our nation's birthday and shooting video of every room to share with my grandma. I'm not sure she ever saw it. Traveling with a videocamera wasn't easy in those early post-2011 days, and those last trips to her bedside in late July and early August were a blur. 

Before we knew it, she was gone. Two days later, I moved to Oxford. Within a matter of hours (literally), my next door neighbor would come into my life and change things forever. We had an instant connection, although we were only neighbors and friends for the first few months. During that first week, he installed a peephole in my door (a very neighborly thing to do) and met nine-month-old Oliver for the first time. That condo is filled with memories from our first three years of togetherness, just like our current house is filled with our last five years of memories. Isn't it funny how memories are connected with a place? Now we're getting ready to let them go all in the same month. Jonathan said something recently that stuck with me. We're growing up and saying goodbye to childhood. We're putting much of our past to bed, and we're gearing up for the next chapter.  

Goodbye, childhood.

Here are a few photos of the condo. It's filled with my sister's furniture here, except for the bookshelf, which Jonathan put together for me, and the dining room rug, which often had Ollie hairballs on it. 

Despite a very sad beginning, we had a wonderful life there together. We will never forget it.