I hope all of you enjoyed Bunny because she is quite the young lady and I love giving her a hard time on my site. Maybe it's the tape on her mouth that makes me do it who knows.
Tonight I was going to bore you guys with another one of my crazy days but instead I received this story a few days ago and I could not wait any longer to share it. Sometimes you feel like its Christmas and you can not wait to open those gifts thats how I felt about sharing these stories.
Welcome Dan to Blogazine! He has quite the story to tell so enjoy!
As Glinda the good witch of the north said, “It is always best to start at the beginning.” I was born in a small town in Southern Illinois on November 2, 1972. I was the second child. I have a brother who is 2 ½ years older than I am. My younger brother appeared on the scene five years later. That makes me the middle child. My dad was and still is a coal miner, and my mom was a stay at home mother. Growing up in Southern Illinois, we spent many summer days at my grandparent’s lake-house swimming and being pulled by my grandpa’s boat on skis, a tube, or a water sled. The rest of the year we went to school, and did all the usual things that kids do. The worst thing that happened to me as a child was breaking my hand in a snow sledding accident. Other than that there wasn’t a lot of excitement, and my childhood was very normal and good.
My dad worked a lot as I was growing up and a lot of times it was just my mom, two brothers, and me. My mom and I have always been close. We share the same interests and love spending time together. My mom has always been interested in antiques. I remember being very young and her taking me to antique shops, and thinking, “This is the most boring place I have ever been in my life.” Little did I know how important antique shops would become to me as I grew older. As a child, I spent a lot of time drawing and coloring. I would also spend time decorating my room, rearranging it often and thinking about different ways to use the space. When we would go to other people’s houses, I would spend my time looking at their children’s bedrooms and getting ideas for my own. My decorating eventually left the boundaries of my room and escaped to other parts of the house. My mom would always say, “My little interior decorator has been at it again.” My mom was constantly redecorating, and I was always by her side painting, wallpapering, and rearranging furniture. I didn’t realize it then, but she was training me to do these things in my own house.
Whenever I would go to Wal-mart or the grocery store, I would spend my time looking at decorating magazines. I remember following my mom around Wal-Mart looking at the latest copy of Country Sampler Magazine and thinking to myself, “One day I am going to have a house nice enough to be in a magazine.”
My parents tried to instill in all three of us to work hard, not judge people by their outward appearance or by what they had, to tell the truth, and always to be there for each other. My mom taught us how to cook, clean, do laundry, and iron. She wanted us to be able to take care of ourselves and to be self-sufficient. Not going to college was never an option. We always knew our parents expected us to go. When I graduated from high school in 1991, I went straight to college majoring in Special Education.
I graduated from college in 1995, got my first teaching job, and my first apartment, and I immediately began decorating. My mom was getting away from the country décor and gave me a lot of her decorations. Some of the items belonged to my great-grandma. I also started going to antique stores. It started out as a cheap way to decorate my apartment and soon turned into a sometimes expensive passion. I couldn’t get enough of the antiques I loved. I was always starting a new collection and always thinking about the future when I would have my own house to decorate.
Better jobs led to better apartments which led to more space for my collections. It seemed just when I filled a place up, I would find a different one with more space to fill.
In 2002, I went back to school to get my Masters in Special Education. One semester I signed up for a secondary education class. I didn’t want to take it, and tried to get out of it to no avail. The night of the first class, I looked down the hall and saw a guy walking down the hall. This guy turned out to be my future partner, Jeff. I always say, “Jeff followed me to my car, and we have been together ever since.” In December of 2006, we adopted our first Miniature Schnauzer. We named her Parker McKenzie. In July of 2009, we adopted our second Miniature Schnauzer. We named him Peyton McEntire. They are the sweetest dogs God ever put on the face of the earth. God certainly knew what He was doing when He created dogs. I often say, “If more humans were like dogs, the world would be a much better place.” Parker and Peyton were made especially for us, and they have made our little family complete.
Two incomes led to my first house which led to another bigger house, and then another even bigger house. Each house presented a blank canvas for more of my growing collections. In 2008, we moved into our current house. When I walked in, I knew this house was meant for us. It was perfect! If I was going to design and build a house, it would have looked just like the one we found. We quickly started repainting and placing all of my collections in the house. It was a lot of work, but the end result was well worth it. I am always tweaking my collections. It is a lot of fun to find new rooms to display them in. I think it gives collections that I have had for years a new life. I guess I inherited my mom’s desire to change things, because I am constantly doing something to the house. Many times before I finish a project, I am thinking about the next project. To me, that is what makes life interesting.
After years of submitting pictures of my house to Country Sampler Magazine, my dream finally came true. In April 2009, I heard from Donna Marcel, the editor of Country Sampler, telling me that they would like to come and photograph my home for an upcoming issue. I can not accurately describe my excitement. This was a dream that was finally being realized. I couldn’t help remembering that young kid looking through Country Sampler Magazine and wishing for the day that he would see his house in the pages of the magazine. In August 2009, photographer Bill Matthews and stylist Gloria Gale from Country Sampler came to our house to take pictures for the magazine. It was a magical day and one that I will never forget. On February 12, 2010, I received my issue of the 2010 Home Tour Edition of Country Sampler. This is the issue with our house in it. When it came, I made Jeff find the article. I refused to look at any of the pictures. I wanted him to read the article to me. As he read, I could not believe my ears. I was actually listening to an article about my house published in Country Sampler. Tears filled my eyes as I once again thought of that young boy following his mom around Wal-Mart carry the latest edition of Country Sampler. My next goal is to see my house in Country Living Magazine. I have contacted them several times, but I have not heard anything from them. I am just going to be persistent and see where this leads me.
This brings me to the creation of my blog. I had thought about having a blog for several months, but never thought anyone would be interested in what I had to say. The name of my blog is Yesterday Once More. The blog address is http://dan-yesterdayoncemore.blogspot.com./ I have been overwhelmed by the positive response my blog has received. I have met so many wonderful people whom I would have never met before. Everyone has been so encouraging and positive. I decided from the beginning that I wanted my blog to be a positive place for people to come. The world is full of so much negativity. It is so easy to get mirered down in the negativity. I want to try to build people up. Give them something to think about, and remind them of the simple things in life. My hope is that each time people visit my blog, they leave feeling better about themselves and the world in which we live. If we strictly go by what the news reports, it seems like this world is a horrible place to live. However, when we look around at the people we come in contact with, it is easy to see that it is not such a bad place after all. I always say, “Life is too short to fight and argue. In the end, it is not the fights and petty disagreements that matter. It is the love we showed to each other, and the love that has been shown to us.” I think if we can remember this, the world will be a much happier place.
I truly can not believe how blessed I have been in my life. I have a wonderful family who loves and accepts me. I have the lights of my life Jeff, Parker, and Peyton, who are always there for me, and have shown me the true definition of unconditional love. I have friends who encourage me. I have a beautiful house, and I job that I love. I do not deserve all of the blessings that I have been given, but I thank God for them everyday.
I, like all of us, do not know what the future holds for me. My hope is to start a decorating business, and to one day open a craft/antique store. I feel like there is a creative side of me that I am not being used to its fullest potential. My hope is to tap into this creative side more than I have in the past, and expand the fullness of my life. It is like Oprah Winfrey said, “Find your passion, and do it.” My hope for all of you is the same. Never forget how special you are. Celebrate your uniqueness. It is what makes life interesting. Never take one day for granted, and always try to find at least one thing to be thankful for each day.
Wow isn't this a great story! Thank you Dan for taking the time to write this for us...I am on my way to bed now with the Country Sampler Magazine...how exciting to post this and then go see his home in a magazine..
I keep forgetting to remind you about the April Fools giveaway of the Paula Dean Set...so if you have not entered please do before by April 1.
Also I am sorry I have not been to a lot of sites lately this Verizon byte thing has me pulling my hair out and thats not good! They say I went over my 5 gigs again and I just do not see how that is possible. Geezzzz Marie!