Thursday, December 20, 2012


In honor of Christmas that is right around the corner, I thought I'd share some memories of our family from Thanksgiving... a picture's worth a thousand words!!

Kathryn loved Foot Foot, our neighbor's cat. She was chasing him ALL around the yard!!

Best friends!

Gigi and Ellie

Gigi, Boppa and Kathryn Louise

Uncle Clough and Aunt Lisa

I love this boy!

We Campbell girls know how to eat!!!

After lunch some of us sat around and listened to Grammie play the piano... and this
time Ronnie joined in!!

It was such a fun day with the family! And It would be a shame if I didn't show you a few pictures of the crew who helped make the day a success....

Daniel, our little chef!

Kathryn, our taste tester... (very important job!!)

Daniel and Ellie, our clean-up crew!
And Benton, our cutie pie!
Happy Thanksgiving- 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



Our family is big on traditions. Anybody who has spent a holiday with my family knows this.

With that said... here are pictures from our Christmas tree hunt!

Every year since we were children, our family has gone to a Christmas tree farm to adopt a little green family member. Many of you have seen pictures from previous years. These will look similar, we just keep adding little family members.

So happy the Wilson family could be home for the grande adventure!
Benton and Daniel were so excited to find a tree...

This is the tree they selected for Gigi and Boppa's house...
Maybe a TAD on the large side!

Thumbs up- Thumbs down... who will the lucky winner be this year??

It was a big decision, but Big D pulled through!

We love the Wilson girls!!

We successfully selected a tree and I'm pleased to announce that we have enjoyed it immensely. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Merry Christmas... and Happy Thanksgiving, late!

I would like to confess that it has been far too long since I have blogged. Life has been so incredibly exciting in the last few months! After all, it's been FOOTBALL SEASON! (but we won't mention that last game...)

Along with football happenings, Monroe and Katie have successfully moved to Clemson AND we've moved our office and are finally settled. All of the files are moved, most of the furniture is permanent, the walls are painted- now to find the perfect finishing touches. We've enjoyed working in our new place in Pendleton and boy have we been busy! So very blessed to work with my family... just wish the ARIZONA family would move back!!

Kathryn Wilson :)-- when they visited for Thanksgiving

I am going to attempt over the next week or so to post pictures of the kids. It's been far too long since the blog world has been updated. I also owe you a little office and house sneak peak! I'm so sorry to those of you who have contacted me... and do realize that I have left you all hanging. :) SO, be watching out!

The outside of our work of art... :) So happy to be in historic downtown Pendleton!
 I'll post more pictures of the interior...

UNTIL THE REAL UPDATES, I leave you with a few Smetana family pictures. These were taken downtown Pendleton right outside our office... What a cute place to be if you've never visited! Come see me!

And if I didn't post this picture below, I feel like I would be a failure! Look at that little Ellie... future pianist for sure! (Or she can be like me and go to piano lessons so she can shoot hoops....) :) 

Thankful for this little family... now, back to work!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Recently I was asked to participate in a precious gift idea for a friend of mine, and I was asked to share things that the Lord had taught me and done in my life throughout my teen years. I've been reflecting on those days of my life and am burdened to share some things from my heart.

I have lots of sweet friends, cousins, practically sisters who are between the ages of 12 and 18, and this is for you wonderful ladies...


There is going to be a temptation to find love and satisfaction in relationships, but find your love in Jesus. Spend time with Him rather than focusing on the next boy who has caught your fancy. I am telling you, most high school flings leave you more bruised and torn than encouraged. (Although I must share that the Lord blessed me with the opposite type of relationship in high school and really used that relationship to help encourage my walk with Jesus.)

Try this: GO ON A DATE WITH GOD. This might sound strange, but I tried this as a 23 year old and found out that the Lord loves me more than any human is even capable to love, and it is NEVER a waste of time to get to know HIM (Jesus) more deeply. In God's sovereignty, He will provide and meet the need for companionship, and if His will for you is marriage, God will bring along a man who loves you... and REALLY loves you!

You don't have to tell anybody about this date... but try it. 

RULES: Listen to your favorite worship songs, write a letter to Him, and spend time reading some of your favorite passages of Scripture. Then try talking to Him out loud like He is there.... after all, HE IS!

2. Invest time in GIRLFRIENDS who LOVE JESUS. 

Nothing is more important than having sisters in Christ who love the Lord. It's amazing now as I look at the friends I have kept up with from childhood, and the ones who have been with me through the easiest and hardest times in life are the ones who love Jesus. 

You can't replace your sisters in Christ- also, they stay with you forever.

It's going to be CRUCIAL not to fall into the trap of trying to be COOL. I tried for a long time to be cool, only to realize I never arrived. I spent a lot of time trying to fit in with the "cool" crowd in junior high only to find that at the death of one of my very closest friends those "cool" kids weren't in sight. 

But I did have friends who loved Jesus who were there for me... and they are the same friends who have walked through life with me.

Iron sharpens iron... a man sharpens the countenance of his friends. It is VERY important who we let into our lives to influence us. Yes, we want to reach out and love people who don't know and love Jesus, but our closest gals, they need to love JESUS and help us love Him more.

3. Look for an elderly lady to befriend. This sounds strange, but there is nothing more helpful in the growth of a young lady than the wisdom of women who have walked with God for a long time. Look to reach out to one very special person. Pray about who God would have that lady be. 

Personal Experience: I was encouraged in elementary school to pick somebody to be "friends" with at my church, so I "picked" Mrs. Linebaugh. She and her husband came to my church and were such a neat couple! I spent alot of time with them, writing cards, making calls, inviting them over for Christmas dinners and fun celebrations. They, of course reciprocated this friendship. They always made me feel so special and cared for.

Mrs. Linebaugh was later diagnosed with Alzheimers which she is still battling. I have to tell you that I have never known a man of God who has LOVED as well as Mr. Linebaugh has. He still cares for his precious wife day by day, though she doesn't remember minute by minute.

Mr. Linebaugh came to my high school graduation, he came to my college graduation, and he will one day, Lord willing, sit on my family row at my wedding. His wife would be there if she were capable.

God has changed my life because of this couple that I was encouraged to "befriend"... even as an elementary school girl. I've learned so much about God through their lives. I wouldn't trade my relationship with this couple for anything in the world.

LOOK TO MINISTER. Ladies, it might feel strange to hang out with "old people" (;)) but let me tell you, it is SO COOL and so worth it!

4. Make your family your best friends. 

Do all you can to preserve and nurture your relationships with the God-given family that you are surrounded by. Things might be hard, days ahead might look painful, but cherish your family. Realize that God has blessed you... BLESSED YOU! And when your dad or mom warn you about something, LISTEN. They have been there. They used to have crushes and stay on the phone till 4am... they used to know how to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night... they have had their hearts broken... they have made mistakes (and sometimes BIG ONES!). THEY KNOW. And they love you. That's why they are so interested in your lives. 

Cherish your family. Love them, and tell them. And take lots and LOTS and LOOOOTS of pictures! One day you will need them for blackmail!

5. Please, please, please don't let guys take advantage. I can't say that enough. God has made you beautiful... let HIM tell you that and find your self-worth in Jesus, not boys. 

The LORD loves you... love Him!

Friday, September 21, 2012



So, for those of you who have watched my blog in recent days, you know I've been a busy little bee. Between the office remodel, house renovation, and small consulting jobs, I've made many a trip to Lowe's. Not to mention the furniture refinishing class I took at Under the Willow Tree. (in Pendleton, SC)

I just thought I'd share a few little tips I've learned in the last few months as I've poured over old wooden objects in hopes of bringing life to them again. Thanks again to my mom for being a handy lady and instructing me in the things I needed to do differently!

The first project I have worked on in recent days is an old dresser that I acquired from a client. One man's trash is another's treasure!

Step 1: Sand piece
(be sure to sand off all shine from previous finish)

One thing I never realized is that there are DIFFERENT types of sandpaper! (wow, imagine that!)

**NOTE The higher the number, the finer the paper. So, when you are initially sanding a piece, go with a low number... 60-80 will work just perfectly!

Step 2: Prime
(I use Kilz primer and it's fantastic! Be sure to go Latex unless the piece you are working on was previously coated with oil-based paint)

** NOTE: Be sure when you are priming your piece that you don't go too thinck with the coat. It's better paint two thin coats of primer if necessary than to do one very thick coat. If you go thick, it's more likely to stick... and be sticky!

Step 3: Paint first coat Valspar

It's crucial to evaluate carefully the type of paint you want to use. I am partial to Valspar simply because you can go to Lowe's and get a Valspar sample for a few bucks and that's typically enough paint to cover a small piece.

When selecting your paint, remember that the more shine in your paint the more durable and easier it will to clean. Determine what look you want and then evaluate the type of use the furniture piece will get. For example, you like the idea of a wooden foot stool that will look rustic and have a matte finish, but remember if you choose to go with a satin or a semi-gloss low sheen paint, you will have to work extra hard to keep it fresh and clean. (just think practically!)

The look and maintenace of your piece is all up to you- that's the beauty of refinishing your own piece! :) You really can't go too wrong, and if you get the first coat on and it dries and you hate it, you can ALWAYS sand it back down and start over!

**NOTE: When you paint, be sure to paint the same direction as the grain of the piece. Makes for a more natural finish. Also be sure you do not paint too thick of layers...  You will need at least two coats to get full coverage. (note, one gallon of paint covers roughly 300 square feet, so your paint will go a LONG way on furniture!)

Step 4: Second Coat of Paint
(BUT NOT UNTIL THE FIRST COAT has dried for several days.)

Drying time will vary depending on the moisture in the air. Be sure when you touch your piece that it doesn't feel tacky but it's dried hard. (Sometimes it will take up to a week between coats)

** NOTE: Depending on the type of paint you use, you may need to do a light sanding between coats. Think about this, in order for it to stick, it has to have something to GRIP to... so sand, baby, sand! (but with a 200 sand paper... nothing coarser)

Step 5: Antiquing
(Be sure to paint or rub on stain with the grain)

Very helpful information from my dear friend (and fellow blogger) Katherine Bougie.
Visit her blog at www.

When using the antiquing technique, you will first want to distress your piece to make it look, well... like an ANTIQUE! Be sure when distressing that you think about the natural use of a piece and where it would be worn over time, and that is where you want to scratch, sand, hammer, etc. (don't get too carried away, but enjoy! Remember, you can ALWAYS put the paint back on, so have fun!)

After distressing your piece, select the stain color of choice, and then either use a brush or PAPER TOWEL (works wonders!) to rub on the stain. Remember when working with stain, it dries quickly, so you need to work on your piece fairly quickly. The stain I like to use is Minwax and I'm definitely partial to darker stain colors.

STEP 6: Final Coat
(Can use a polyurethane or a wax sealer)

There are many options to complete the piece you are working on. For this particular piece of furniture I used a Clear gloss Polycrylic polyurethane. I used a paint brush and applied a thin layer over my entire piece and then let it dry for days before touching.

PS: The best part about refinishing old pieces is the hardward. Think twice before throwing out the old. Sometimes the patina that comes with age is exactly what sets the piece apart.  Also, consider what your original hardware will look like with a little RUSTOLEUM spray paint. . .

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


So very thankful for this Wednesday. Spent a few minutes this morning at breakfast with some of the ladies in my CP group and it was a great kick-start to the day. A little Chick-fil-A, a little laughter, and a little prayer. One of the ladies reminded us of Lamentations 3:22-24...

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS!!! The Lord is my PORTION, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him."

So very thankful for the reminder of the faithfulness of the Lord, and the fact that we have hope and satisfaction in Him. We don't need anything else. . . not anything.

Blessed and Thankful today!

Monday, September 10, 2012


Hardwoods are in... now for sanding and refinishing. It's been such a fun process and the house feels so different. It's like we've gone from walking into an old, stinky house to new construction. It's amazing how much change can take place with a little (LOT) sweat and updating.

For those who are following...

View of living room- painted and ready to sand. Notice the front door is black and my
hardware is updated. Thanks Mom and Ronnie... :)
(It's been very helpful to date an engineer!)

The beautiful designer :)... and electrician, and plumber, and project manager,
and painter, and HVAC specialist. . .

You can see they are in the process of sanding down the floor. The orange is going allll away!

Picture of the den

On the right is the finish that will be done in the house. It's actually just the oak flooring with a poly finish- no stain.
Below the diagonal plank of wood  is the old hardwood floowing, and the upper hardwood
is what they just installed. You can't even tell
a difference between the two once they are sanded down-- amazing!

I must say I love this ceiling fan. Just had to post a picture. :)
(Thanks, Dad. . . also an electrician, plumber, project manager, HVAC specialist,
Landscape architect, grass mower, weed specialist, . . .)
All the update I have for now. Thankful to see the brainwork come together!

THANK YOU to all of my friends and family who have spent hours and hours and hours and hours. . . helping me!