porches + panache | present on the porch

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We just celebrated our first Christmas in Georgia; it was enjoyable, relaxed + full of the magical wonder that children bring, along with a few surprises too. We wanted to keep things minimalist as possible simply because we are too blessed to want anything + are trying to teach the girls early + often about having a God + others-first mentality.

Certainly, it is fun to give + receive, however, we were reminded at church that celebrating religious holidays (as well as every day we are given) is about seeking the JOY that lasts, not just finding the fun in it.  Christmas therefore, is not about what we are given to open, but about the treasure of the birth of our savior, Jesus firstly + in turn, being present + giving of ourselves to those around us to celebrate this awesome miracle.

The concept of having and enjoying a porch points to a state of being present.  It is a joy to be able to offer a tranquil spot where family + friends feel welcome whether directly or indirectly together.  While my parents were visiting they took some time on the porch to swing, read + pray + it warmed my heart to see them feel so at home here.  In those few moments, there was a beautiful moment where the girls saw my parents outside + ran to the window to wave- they had fun smiling, waving + putting their hands up to his against the panes.  It was one of those moments that couldn’t have been planned + I felt God’s presence in that brief flash of a minute.

We may not always be able to bear the cold weather enough to enjoy the outdoors via a porch, so it is also good to think of bringing the porch mentality inside, after all what good is a hospitable porch if the inside isn’t just as warm + welcoming?  It has been a treat + a gift to host Christmas celebrations with both sets of our parents as well as our brothers at our home this year.  Also in the last few months, we have enjoyed hosting a couple of play dates here + hope to continue enjoying new friends as well as family into the New Year. Come one, come all!

Perhaps the most cherished of surprises was the last gift given to our family by my mom, dad + two brothers: a joggling board!  Growing up in Charleston, I have always been enamored with this beautiful lowcountry porch fixture + always dreamed one day my home would have one that I may sit on whenever I please- a luxury at anytime in my mind!  It’s surreal, but this dream is becoming reality!

I most vividly recall “jogglin’” on the bench in the courtyard at Dock Street Theater upon the occasion of my cousins Sarah + Rick’s wedding.  We even got a picture of a great many of us first cousins all sitting on it—such a fun, happy memory!  I’ll have to see if mom will send a copy this way.

In a few short months, our empty porch has turned into something lovely, just like Ryan assured me it would—when the time was right. Cannot wait to share a picture of the joggling board on our porch with you!  Oh + if you want to see more of the makings of our porch, you can see that here

Wishing you a happy + healthy New Year!

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Update: Our joggling board has arrived home!! We put it together on Super Bowl Sunday + it was quite a lot of fun! So enjoyable to have things like this to do as a family + it really is going to be the gift that keeps on giving from my parents + siblings. I will be sharing some snippets from the process here soon. Having one of these to enjoy on our porch is a dream come true….this may be something that only maybe children of Charleston fully understand, but the history of these board can be traced back to Scotland…take a look at the website below to learn more! Come visit us soon + we can have a nice long visit while we joggle!

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10 ft jogglin’ board via The Joggle Factory

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