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Friday Amy Update: Gracie’s Birthday

My week began with a celebration (it ended with one too but more on that later)! After church on Sunday, we piled into the car and drove up to the mountains to where Joey’s parents live to celebrate his father’s 65th birthday with all my in-laws. When we all gather, we total 19. They live in a sweet little home near the mountains and we always have lots of fun eating, playing with the kids and catching up.

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Monday morning Emily (my oldest who is 15 years old) and I woke nice and early to hit the ice rink. She had a very important U.S. Figure Skating Test she needed to take as she continues to check them off her list. It’s a pass/fail kind of test and she… passed!! Whew. Then off to school. She only had one final today… in P.E. Really? Yes, apparently. I was at the office throughout the morning planning and meeting with staff. Mondays are usually my catch up days when it comes to AA and the house. I make a conscious effort not to work on Sundays. I don’t even check the orders. So between work, home and kid’s stuff the emails pile up a tad and it takes me most the day to get my checklist down to a manageable length. Since I was at the office, this catch up day was a little more challenging. Corban is taking his first swimming class every night this week and it started on Monday afternoon at my neighbor’s backyard pool. A swim instructor came to teach a bunch of the neighborhood kids a thing or two! We were supposed to go to a cookout with some friends but Joey had a rough day and I was close to my limit. It was a cookout where you bring the kids and I knew I’d have to have one hand on Corban the whole time. So with all those factors it added up to “Sorry, we can’t make it.” Whew… so thankful for my bed!

My sweet niece has been watching Corban a few mornings for me, since he’s been out of school. But I decided to keep Grace and Corban all to myself on Tuesday because I had to take my mother to the airport (who went to go see her mother in TX). So I made it my day to run errands and not work too much. We were out most the day except we did come home for lunch. Grace is my musician and she has her piano lessons on Tuesday afternoons which she really looks forward to. Her lessons are short but I managed to get a quick run in while Corban played at a nearby playground… he plays and I run circles around him on the little path that winds through the park. I’m sure I look a little funny but sometimes you just gotta do what ya gotta do. Then I picked up Grace, picked up Emily from school and we all headed and got a quick dip in the pool. I wanted Corban to get some practice in before his swim class. Another crazy busy day for me. I’m not used to this! I admire you single moms out there on days like this… and I didn’t even work!

On Wednesday my niece came back to watch the kiddos! Woo Hoo! And I ran out to buy gifts for my sweet Gracie’s birthday! That was fun shopping and it went smoothly too. But it did take me all morning to find just the right little items. I ran to Target and found some pool toys, pjs, and a sweet little top. I ran to a sports store to find a little tank and shorts to keep her cool in this hot SC summer that is fast approaching. Then I ran to REI to get her big gift, an ENO (a hammock she can hang between our trees in the backyard). Emily has one too, so it will be a sister bonding thing, which I love! Speaking of Emily… she took her last exam today and she is done with her freshman year of high school!! Emily had a figure skating lesson and then back to Corban’s swim lesson. He is the oldest in his little class but you’d never know it. He’ll get it, I know he will. Then before we went to bed Emily and I decorated the kitchen with tons of streamers and balloons for Grace to wake up to.

Happy 11th Birthday to my sweet Grace!!! The kids and I piled in the car to go get donuts (a big treat for this paleo family)! Then off to Barnes and Noble to browse the toys and books. Emily found a classy journal that she bought. We just happened to come when it was story times so Corban and I listened to the story (well to be honest, Corban kinda listened and I checked my email on my phone) and then did a craft! Nice! Grace found a book that I bought her (it was her birthday after all) and she bought a little toy with some of her birthday money. It was great outing which is rare with Corban. He has really turned a corner these last few months and it so nice to have a child who has finally understood HOW to behave (most of the time). Grace wanted a Subway sandwich so we grabbed it and took it home to eat an early lunch. Grace’s best friend, Elizabeth, came over and then we hit the pool! It was then that Corban put his whole face in the water for a number of seconds for the first time! He was so excited he just kept wanting to do it over and over. He couldn’t wait to show his swim instructor that afternoon! So exciting! Then home for a taco dinner, presents and a quick swing in the new ENO! Grace had all kinds of things she wanted to do including glow the dark bubbles (which unintentionally squirted all over the bathroom which you could see when you turned the lights out!), games and crafts. They were out by 10:30 and so was I… thank goodness.

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Today is looking just as busy as the rest as we plan to hit the pool again since Elizabeth is still hanging with us, more errands, and one more swim class. I need to clean the house because I’m hosting a baby shower tomorrow afternoon and we’re going out on a double date with friends. Work? What’s that? It has not really existed this week since the kids have been home and we had a big girl turning 11! But I have a wonderful husband and staff to run the show. I am so thankful for them. They allow me to go to the pool with my kiddos and shop during normal business hours for my daughter’s birthday. It is truly a luxury I am so very thankful for.

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The Girls of Amy Adele

If you follow our blog you know a lot about Amy’s son Corban. He unintentionally became the spotlight of conversation due to his early arrival and miraculous growth, but we think it is time to share a little more about his older sisters! Here’s what you need to know about the girls of Amy Adele.

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Emily is Amy’s oldest daughter and Corban’s best friend.

Emily and Corban at the grocery store

 

She is 15 and learning to drive, which is a big step, not only for her but for Amy and Joe as well. Emily is very active. She loves ice skating and even teaches skating lessons! Emily also runs cross country competitively. School comes easy for her. She also helps Amy teach a 3rd grade class at their church. In her spare time she doodles and draws just like Amy! With all of her activities and teaching you would probably imagine her as the outspoken and extroverted one of the family. It’s surprising to know that she is actually the most quiet and reserved.

Emily in the hammock

So, who is the extrovert? That would be Grace.

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Grace turns 11 on June 5th, and she is “silly, silly, silly” according to Amy. School comes easy for her as well. Grace is the creative spirit in the house, she is always drawing, playing piano, and even writing her own songs. Her second love to being a musical genius? Her collection of her beloved stuffed animals of course. She has no filter; if she thinks it she says it! She is outspoken, friendly, and giggly. Grace is always happy!

Gracie going out of town

Emily and Grace are best buds and they love each other a ton! They love to hang out in Emily’s hammock that she hangs up in the back yard and Amy will often find them chatting away up in their rooms. They also give Amy great advice when she is designing a new card! Their constant creativity and contrasting personalities fill the Wike home with life and love!

Artist Spotlight: Amy Adele

We want to give you an inside look at the people behind the designs of Amy Adele. Of course our original artist and namesake, Amy, was our first choice. I, Caroline Kennedy, normally am the happy voice at the other end of your customer emails and the poster of all things social media, but for this blog I strapped on my reporter shoes and took a trip to see Amy in person where she works… at home!

I joined Amy at her home to talk about her journey as an artist. It’s a welcoming brick house tucked back in an adorable subdivision. The driveways are lined with blooming flowers and manicured shrubs. Amy welcomes me with an open door and a big smile :). Corban, her 5 year old son,  is lunching quietly at the kitchen table. The whole house has a cozy, comforting effect. The kitchen sports handmade cabinetry, courtesy of Amy’s husband, Joe. He would never brag about it, but it truly looks amazing.  We join Corban at the table with our lunches, and he tells me about his new bike and tries his best to say my name correctly. Ca-ro-line is a lot of new syllables for him, but he does better than most, which makes me smile. As we eat Amy begins to tell me a little about her journey.

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Amy was born in Northern Virginia, just a few states away. She has one older sister and grew up in a little cape cod styled home just inside the Beltway. One of her most ordered designs is a drawing of her childhood home. She was raised in a Christian home, and has carried that faith in Jesus Christ with her into adulthood. Amy married young, she and her husband (affectionately “Joey” to her) wed in 1994. They both attended a small liberal arts Christian college, Toccoa Falls College, in the North Georgia mountains.

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Four years after they married Amy and Joe welcomed their first daughter Emily to the world. Then six years later, they welcomed their second daughter Grace. Thinking they were done building their family, they settled in quickly to being parents of two sweet little girls. Newborn Grace wasn’t the only thing in the works that year. A short while after Grace was born Amy and Joe celebrated the launch of Amy Adele. Contrary to what Amy and Joe believed, their family was not quite done growing! Their son, Corban, was born in 2009, and has been a tremendous blessing to them in spite of his surprise arrival. You can read about him on anther blog post by clicking here.

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Amy has a knack for doodling, which family had insisted for years could be utilized. She had created small batches of hand made thank you notes for things like her wedding gifts and other special gifts. In December 2003, she created a design for their family Christmas card and had a few printed at a local print shop nearby. She got a lot of positive feedback from those cards. So after much prayer and thought and over many months, Amy began sketching and Joe began looking into how they could make a business out of it. Joe insisted they call their business Amy Adele despite Amy’s resistance and desire enjoy the shadows. Yes, that is her real name too! They decided to create a website so friends and family or perhaps even some people they didn’t know, could purchase Amy’s cards without any sales pitch pressure. Joe had a lot of experience in publishing so he too was in his element.  When they launched Amy Adele, it was intended to be somewhat of a hobby. They were expecting small and few orders and had decided not to be upset if they never had the first one. Within just a few days, they found that operating out of their home, hand scoring and folding each card, and their bleary eyes was not going to work! It was so exciting  but they were shocked by the sudden success of Amy Adele. They quickly moved into a one room business office and hired a part time girl to keep the production going while Amy continued to add new cards and Joe kept working his normal job. The ebb and flow and been quite dramatic at times and Joe is now working full time running and managing Amy Adele. Amy works from home and comes in the office once in a while to help with planning. They have had some amazing people work for them over the years and are amazed at all God has done through Amy Adele!

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As I spoke with her more that day, she let me flip through her sketch book and as I looked she would add in little statements like “that house is so lopsided!” or “those people’s heads are too big!”. This was not what I saw at all. I saw hours of perfectly doodled houses, tea cups, flowers, firetrucks, and a lot of adorable people with perfectly sized heads.  Amy shocks me when she says, “I’m almost embarrassed to be called an artist”. She goes on to say that in her mind “artists” paint things that end up in museums, they create murals, and beautiful portraits. The truth is art, just like music, comes in a million different styles. Each artist has a different calling, and be it doodles or the Mona Lisa, it is art none the less.

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I wrapped up our conversation by asking Amy what her main goal or desire for Amy Adele was. In her sweet way she explains that the goal has been the same all along. Amy Adele was created so that everyone who is a part of it has the opportunity to help people make happy memories. From birthday invitations to baby shower thank you notes, Amy Adele gets to witness a new happy memory in the making with every order that is placed. Amy loves knowing that her little doodles are ending up preserved in scrapbooks and memory boxes as a reminder of the happy occasions our customers share. Happy memories are our everyday joy, but what really keeps Amy creating is the idea of promoting thankfulness in children. Promoting thankfulness in children is a goal that has a lasting reward. In Amy’s eyes, if she creates notes that show joy, and those notes help children understand how to show thankfulness, that is her opportunity to encourage to others.

 

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

There are many simple things you can do to protect our planet, each of which might not seem terribly consequential, but put together, they all add up. A beach is made of millions of grains of sand deposited over time – not all earth-friendly gestures have to be as big as planting a forest. To that end, we want to share the importance of recycling and using post consumer products. It’s a simple change you can make to reduce your footprint. Here are a few quick facts about recycling:

  • Only 30% of waste is recycled, but we have the potential to recycle 75%.
  • Also, if every American recycled their newspapers, it would save 250 million trees each year. That’s a lot of trees – and that’s just with recycling one paper item, by one country. Think if the whole world recycled all the paper we generate – phone books, school papers, junk mail…
  • In 2010, Americans threw away $2.8 billion worth of paper.
  • And 37% of paper for American mills is recycled.
  • Recycling paper doesn’t just save trees – it also takes 40% less energy.
  • And just to make you appreciate paper a little more…before toilet paper, you might have had to use corn cobs or leaves. (Toilet paper is also available in post-consumer form.)

At Amy Adele, every single product is made with 100% post consumer paper, and by asking friends and family to recycle our stationery, you can extend the life of a sheet of paper over time – who knows where it might end up? Also, our packing peanuts are 100% biodegradable. They are made from starch, so they dissolve in water, and you could even eat them! That is if you were REALLY hungry. 🙂

For a fun project with your kids this Earth Day, make up a story about a recycled piece of paper. Where has it been? How many people has it seen? What was it used for? Feel free to share your kids’ best and most creative ideas in the comments – we’d love to hear them. If you just received your order  show the kids how you can make packing peanuts disappear. Feel free to post reaction videos or pictures to our Facebook, Google+, or tag us on Instagram.

Amy Adele’s Easter

Happy Day After Easter! He is Risen Indeed!

All of us at Amy Adele hope you had a lovely Easter yesterday. After a rainy and cold Good Friday and Saturday, the sun came out and it was a gorgeous sunny warm day here in the Upstate of South Carolina. We were praising Jesus a little bit more than we normally do on Easter for the weather alone! 😉

On Easter morning we all woke early (but not really early like some of you sunrise folks) and went off to church to sing, worship and remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! Then we scooted home quickly to get ready to celebrate some more with my in-laws (whom I love). It was my turn to host, which I was happy to do. When I was growing up, my parents always hosted the Easter meal, so it feels right when it’s my “turn”. 🙂 

I should back up a tad though. To prepare for it all,  I had a lot of fun this year decorating and getting the house ready. I like to keep things simple and sweet… but it doesn’t come naturally. I  take forever fiddling and thinking  through things to get it just right (or close enough). I think I may have drove my family a little crazy with all my home decor projects!

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Here is an Easter garden I created… but this one doesn’t have any dirt so I can store it for next year! I just used a little moss instead. Celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus is the most important part of Easter for our family and I just really wanted a decoration that reminded us of this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This wreath that’s now hanging in my kitchen was a very simple creation… I  just took a store bought wreath and added little Easter eggs.

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Here are a few shots of my dining room… all decked out in its finest Easter flare. I had so much fun finding candle sticks, vases, platters and such around the house to create a little spring garden. I cut those branches from my trees in the backyard. My neighbors were probably wondering why I was running in and out of the house (in the rain) on Saturday holding branches and leaves! 🙂

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My husband and I made some big diet changes on January 1st of this year and it’s been such a success that we’re sticking to it! So the macaroni and cheese dish and a few others like it, got cut from the line up. Of course, not everyone in the family is eating like us so Uncle Jon brought over some yummy bread (that I must admit I ate a tiny piece of). 🙂 I’m not a chef but I found a simple healthy recipe for asparagus risotto that I thought I’d try. As I began putting it together Aunt Chris and Uncle Jon (who are very good Italian cooks) kept commenting on how they’ve never made risotto because they heard its quite tricky. My “simple little recipe” quickly changed to an intimidating one as 13 people hovered in the kitchen waiting to eat. Yikes! But in the end it turned out ok. Whew!! Here’s a picture of me and my sweet mother-in-law as I stir stir my risotto (I quickly learned that lots of stirring was required).

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We finished the afternoon off with my mother-in-law’s beautiful 3 layer lemon cake that was amazing! (Did I just admit to eating that too?) Also, my 10 year old daughter created a scavenger/egg hunt for the older cousins who are in high school and college. It was a hoot watching the older ones running around instead of the younger ones this year!

Family Easter pictures are a must. This tradition dates back quite sometime for my family. This is a photo of my grandparents and my father on Easter Sunday, March 28, 1948 in Washington DC taken with the national cherry blossoms as their backdrop. We don’t have very many photos of them so we think its kinda neat that this event and Corban’s birthday were both on March 28th!

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Now, sixty six years later here is a photo me and my sweet family on Easter 2014.

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Not every day is heavenly but I’m thrilled to say this one was pretty close!

Today is Corban’s 5th Birthday!

Today, our little man turns 5! Let’s take a look at Corban’s Journey!

Corban’s arrival 2 months early was a very scary moment for the whole Amy Adele family. He weighed only 2 lbs 3 oz but Corban quickly showed the world that he would be a fighter!

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At 2 weeks old Corban weighed just under 3 lbs. To give you some prospective, a bag of coffee beans weighs about 3 lbs! Corban came home on April 30th 2009 at one month and 2 days old. Amy was a little nervous bringing home such a little guy, but the whole family was ecstatic to have their little miracle home and thankful that the first big hurdle for Corban was over.

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Over the next year Corban grew and functioned like any other newborn. He even got a little chubby! (See picture below for chunky cheeked baby awesomeness!)

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Corban tackled other hurdles with ease! Going to physical therapy and wearing his helmet didn’t keep him from big smiles and giggles! This picture was taken on his first birthday!

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At 20 months Corban took his first steps on November 9th 2010. Amy has been in chase mode ever since!

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Corban tackled walking and continued to grow and change, slowly but surely.

Let’s fast forward a bit….

Here is Corban at 3 years old. He is smaller than other 3 year old’s, and developmentally is currently somewhere between 1 1/2 and 2 years old.  As all preschoolers do, he gave Amy and her husband plenty of practice at patience!

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Now, let’s jump forward to today! (Because I am too excited and can’t wait anymore!)

Today is Corban’s 5th birthday! That’s a BIG milestone for a little man! He loves all things wheel related! Motorcycles are his favorite!

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Corban is still small for his age, and continues to face some obstacles developmentally. He is in currently in K4 but is not quite ready for kindergarten next year. He will be in K4 again next year to make sure he’s extra ready! 🙂 The Amy Adele family has learned a lot from Corban! He is teaching us to just take our time with him and that keeps us on our toes! Thanks, from our family to yours, for celebrating Corban’s big day with us!

Corban Update – April 28, 2009

Hello world!

Hello World!

Thanks again to all of you who participated in our first blog contest over the weekend guessing when our newest addition, Amy’s son Corban, will be coming home from the hospital. In addition to some very insightful guesses, your well-wishes for Corban and the stories you shared about your own children were very much appreciated and fun to read.

The above picture is of Corban at 4 weeks old, just a few days ago. You know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words… He is obviously doing very well, and Amy wanted me to give you an update on his progress.

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Happy Earth Day!

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Since today is Earth Day I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce myself and post my praise about how GREEN Amy Adele strives to be. My name is Whitney and I am the Customer Care Manager at Amy Adele. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Earth Day is Everyday.” It certainly rings true here. Coming from a 5-year-stint at an environmental non-profit, being green runs through my veins. Upon coming on board here I was so totally (and pleasantly) surprised that a stationery company takes such great efforts at reducing waste. Here are a couple of ways that Amy Adele makes Earth Day everyday at our headquarters: Continue reading