This month, we invite you to gather around our digital campfire. Come on, guys! Bring a s’more or two - you don’t even have to share!
Plain and simple, what we’re doing this month is sharing what’s most important to us. The question is: What are you most grateful for? And let’s have some fun with it! Start by cozying up to your screen (or, you know, maybe another human?) and see what we’re loving the most these days. Sweatshirts, blankets, and hot cocoa also encouraged. Then take a peek at what we suggest to keep the good vibes rolling. Deal?
Before we start, here are a few of the themes that emerged when we talked about what means the most to us:
People - obvs
Small things - morning routines were especially popular!
Big things - leaps and crazy stories, taking risks and taking chances on ourselves
A few struggles and how they’ve ultimately been meaningful to us
So let's get into it, shall we?
When we all thought about who means the most to us, it was clear that sometimes the biggest personality traits make the biggest difference to us. But! Many times, it’s the small things that make us love our favorite people even more.
Not surprisingly, many of our Uncommon Creatives listed each other when asked who in their life they are most grateful for! For starters, Katie and Janie’s uniquely special sisterhood was at the top of the list! Here are a few things the sisters said about each other:
Pictured: "The Night Before First Grade" Party
Katie loves that Jane is obsessed with silly things like fuzzy socks, jammie shorts, apples, water bottles, and school supplies.
Janie said Katie has ALWAYS been known for thinking something was 'the best ever' for certain periods of time. It has spanned from Power Rangers to Pocahontas to nail art to orange pop.
**Grab the tissues, people! Janie also said, “I feel like if every single person in this world got a small dose of Katie each day, we'd have a more joyful, happier world. She does BIG things by doing small things SO well.”
A few of the gentlemen in our lives also got some serious shout-outs:
Janie also gave some huge props to her husband and fellow Uncommoner, Jordan. “He has got a huge servant's heart, and he would never want to be in the spotlight for the things he does for others.”
Sal also pointed out how much she loves that her fiance, Jared, laughs so hard at anything minutely funny. Whether it’s a family member’s corny joke or an episode of “Friends” that he’s seen literally ten times, she can hear him cracking up from the next room! "It makes me happy when he is filled with that kind of joy."
Lastly, Katie also credits the start of her career with a very important person:
She says, “My biggest moment would have to be when I first met Terri Gold. She is the woman who took me under her wing and taught me all about the film industry. She is the major reason why I work in the film industry to this day. She gave me a chance, and it was incredible!”
Little Everyday Things
Let’s face it - most days aren’t filled with grand gestures and bold moves, but we found that we appreciate many of the same types of things throughout our everyday lives. Here are a few of the little things we love the most:
Janie and Jordan love quality time with their loved ones and with their sweet pup, Mabel Jo!
Janie and Jasmine share a love of plants!
Katie is so grateful for iced coffee & sweet tea. And don’t forget about g-free baked goods and pastries! Mmmm :)
Pictured: Let's Flock in Flannel Bachelorette Party
NOT pictured: Sal (sadly)
Pictured: On Location Poolside Prop Styling
It turns out, we also love to make the most of our mornings. That precious time sets the tone for the rest of the day, and we are so grateful for our own versions of it:
Janie goes for a run and walk, and then follows it with daily devotion and prayer while drinking a yummy fruit smoothie and sipping on coffee
Katie reads scripture, journals, and prays each morning to prepare for the day
Sal writes in her gratitude journal and has found a workout routine she actually loves to do each morning. Praise be!
Big leaps, taking risks, taking a chance on ourselves + Crazy divine intervention!
At different points in our short professional lives thus far, each Uncommon Creative has found ourselves taking some serious leaps of faith.
Janie is in the midst of a serious transformation right now! She is stepping away from the public school setting to work at a private Christian school this fall. Plus, she is moving from first grade to high school! Despite how confusing it may be to others (and even to Janie herself sometimes!), there is “such a nudge to follow His calling and see where this takes me.”
Another leap Janie is grateful to be tackling is in children's literature. “Along with my job change, the Lord has prompted me to actively pursue my authorship. SCARY!!” In the early stages of this new leap, all we can say is that there is already some exciting interest and buzz! And to stay tuned during this journey for Janie!
Sal made a big move in her career about a year ago as well! That move has brought her to work consistently for Uncommon, hone her creativity in new ways, and learn alongside a fantastic mentor like Katie. She says she is most grateful for, “having creative freedom while I am supported by someone as talented and caring as Katie, dipping my toes into writing, and getting to brag about my best friend as part of my job!”
Katie’s leap of faith has brought us all right here today, because it was her decision to start the business that we now know and love, The Uncommon Creative Studio, LLC! She said that starting the business right out of college made for the most “faith-filled years of my life. I see God everyday because I have to rely on him solely.”
Janie’s most memorable moment of divine intervention came in meeting her husband, Jordan. “God showed up in BIG ways that night - orchestrating a whole saga of events which led the two of us to begin dating. Divine intervention is the ONLY way to sum up that night at Cowboy Jacks!”
Sal had a series of moments that can only be described as divine intervention when she was working on a project with her last job. She was designing a senior living community in Waco, TX, when someone on the team suggested reaching out to Clint Harp from HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” to see if his company would make a custom furniture piece for the project. “Honestly, I kind of rolled my eyes at the idea at first. This was a new construction retirement community - so definitely NOT a Fixer Upper - and I knew it was a long shot at best!” Long story short, she sent a sketch with the project information and expected to never hear back. Instead, she heard back from two different people in their office who said Clint wanted to make an exception for her project, she Skyped with him to discuss the design of the table, and they ended up creating this custom community table in the cafe of the Independent Living portion of the building!
Pictured: Table photo from Clint Harp Design Co's Instagram
Katie’s divine intervention deserves some serious attention. So listen up, people! In the Fall of 2012, Terri Gold asked if Katie would be able to work as an assistant on the set of a music video. “But it wasn’t just any music video … it was for Prince! We shot ‘Rock N’ Roll Love Affair’ at Paisley Park.” To say it was an incredible experience is an understatement! Katie adds, “then to top it off, when the music video was released and I saw it for the first time, I found out that I am actually in the music video as well! See if you can spot me at 12 seconds and 16 seconds!”
Sal and Janie have both talked about struggles with time commitments. As with anything, it is a reminder that the time and energy we have while we’re here is precious. Janie says, “it’s important to keep in mind the fact that you are the like the 5 people you surround yourself with the most. This helps me stay grounded and guide me.”
Katie’s biggest struggle is with her stomach, specifically with her gluten sensitivity and IBS. “That silly thing has put me through more pain and misery then anything else on this earth. I suffer daily from all kinds of symptoms with little relief in sight most days. But I know in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).” Katie has actually already seen a lot of good come out of this experience. She credits this struggle as the reason she is acutely aware of taking care of others’ needs. “This has completely become Uncommon's main focus. This drives home why I focus on needs first, and then aesthetics.”
Related Post: Gluten Freedom
So that’s what we are most thankful for these days! Did that make you feel good!? Because it did for us! Which is why we are also including a few tools and tips for how you might incorporate gratitude into your life as well:
Journaling! This can be super simple. Keep a notebook by your bed and write down a few things you’re grateful for each morning. Or, keep a digital note in your phone and type up a few things while you’re stuck at a stoplight.
Keep something small in your pocket that reminds you to say thank you for something every time you touch it. Or maybe make a habit of thinking of something you’re grateful for every time you look at your watch!
Sal and her fiance Jared have started a practice of sharing three things that they are grateful for every day, as well as three things they are excited about.
Say grace before a meal! Remember that the simple fact that we have food on the table is an incredibly huge blessing.
Katie implemented a Lenten practice back in college as well. She read a book called “365 Thank Yous,” where the author wrote a thank you note everyday for a year. “I wrote a thank you note every day of the Lenten season one year. I still remember we were on a spring break trip with Habitat for Humanity at a church in Elgin, IL. At the end of each night when everyone was winding down, I would sit in the back hallway writing my thank you note for that day. I learned so much about gratitude during that time... I just might have to do it again!"
Check out these Ted Talks on Gratitude
So that’s what we’ve got for you this month - a little bit of information, a little bit of fun, a little bit of encouragement to include this in your daily practices. And please - let us know what you ‘d like to add to the list!
And thank YOU all for being so awesome!
The Uncommon Team