So many emotions rolled into one blog post – the joy, the sadness, the anxiety, and the thrill! How can there be so many feelings related to travelling to the USA in a couple of weeks? But we’re just visiting … not moving there, so don’t panic!

If you’re up for a chat, grab a coffee or a cuppa tea, and let’s dive into how this trip unfolded, what we’ll be doing over there, and all of the things.

My USA Connection

My husband, Marty is from the USA, born in the small town of Emmett, Idaho. He moved with his Parents and older sister, to Australia here, when he was about 10 years old – so he’s pretty Aussie-fied now! But he did move back there as a young adult, and then we also lived there for a period of time when first married – in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a little bit, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana also. But since having all our kids here in Australia, we have only been back a couple of times over the years – the last time a few years ago, when we took all four of our teenagers across the ocean for a huge family holiday. It was so good for our kids to all connect with their USA cousins, and get to know each other, as they are all similar in age.

Our USA family!
Marty’s sister’s family and ours together for Christmas. Our kids first American Christmas and first time seeing snow in their lives!

Remembering Mom

Our main reason for this trip, is to travel with Marty’s Dad back to his home town in Idaho, for a special memorial service for his Mom, who passed away here in Australia early last year. I wrote a post dedicated to Marty’s beautiful mom, here. 2018 was a huge year for Dad – the loss of his wife of 58 years, then he needed triple bypass surgery and a long recovery time post op, till he was given the all clear to travel. So he and Marty were finally able to set some dates for this year to travel back to spend time with family. It will be great to see cousins, Aunts and Uncles and family friends that Marty and his dad haven’t seen in decades. We’ll also be spending Easter across in North Carolina with Marty’s sister, Paula & her husband and family, and we’re so looking forward to that.

LaDonna Hankins Celebration of Life, Mom

Painting Project with my USA Sister!

My sister-in-law in North Carolina, USA, has been hinting for at least a year or more to come help her paint her Bombay chest, among other furniture projects she has. And what was once a distant dream of “that would be so much fun” is now becoming a reality!

My USA Sister's Bombay Chest we'll paint together.

Paula would be the first to tell you she doesn’t really do “DIY or crafty” – don’t get me wrong, she’s an amazing decorator and her house is always beautiful AND she’s an AMAZING cook! So we kinda have this unspoken deal – when she comes to visit us, she cooks us amazing food. When I go visit her, I paint her furniture! Done deal, sista!

Oh, and she’s a GREAT shopper! So we do plan to hit up some home decor stores, Antique Malls and I don’t think I could visit the USA without being inspired by the towering aisles of a Hobby Lobby store.

Equipped for Business!

When Marty & his Dad began making plans to take this USA trip, it was originally going to just be the two of them. Here’s where the story gets interesting and I’m not sure where you stand on spiritual things, but I can only describe this part of my trip as Divinely a part of God’s plan due to the little “signs” and prompts I was getting as I questioned whether I should actually go or not.

At the same time that Marty and his dad had settled on travel dates and began to research tickets, my business coach, Jennifer Allwood announced that she would be having her very first live event in Kansas City the first weekend in May! I have loved listening to Jennifer’s podcasts and have received so much benefit out of both her business Creator’s Roadmap Course and her Inner Circle Coaching group, that my ears pricked up at the idea of a live conference – and you guessed it, the dates coincided nicely with the dates Marty and his dad had chosen. Marty’s sister, Paula had also heard Jennifer Allwood talk about her event dates and so it was all on for her and Marty to convince me I needed to be on this trip too!

I may share sometime, details of the many little “miracles” that helped make this trip possible for me to go along – like the day after Marty & Dad decided on dates and I sold my French Provincial Sofa set that had been sitting on Marketplace for a year with NO enquiries! Sold to a Pastor from a large church who was refurbishing their offices and said it was exactly the style they’d been looking for! The sale would cover my extra airfare across to Kansas City and accomodation for the conference! Some of the small miracles were just a little too coincidental to be anything but God looking out for me and letting me know this trip is what I need to be doing right now. Both for my business, and for quality time with family who we rarely get to see.

Equipped Conference with Jennifer Allwood, Kansas City, USA.

I am so honoured to be actually serving at this conference as Volunteer Coordinator, and cannot wait to meet and hang out with a bunch of like-minded women in business. PLEASE let me know if you are going to Jennifer Allwood’s Equipped Conference – I would SO love to meet any of my readers who will be there.

Don’t Stress!

That heading is just to remind me – “Don’t Stress!” – because I tend to get a little anxious about things – like travelling a million miles away from my kids; or worrying about who will do all of the “things” while I’m gone. Which explains my reaction in our Anniversary Surprise video when my husband told me where he was taking me for our 25th Anniversary a year and a half ago. Here I was thinking we were going on a little cruise somewhere close – no. Marty is all Mr. Casual chill-out guy, but MY little head and heart do this crazy battle between “everything’s going to be fine” and all the “what if’s”. Can you relate?

Chilling on my Outdoor Beanbag!

One of my favourite Bible verses I learned growing up was Philippians 4:6,7 which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So that’s what I’m leaning on, and I know that all of the “things to do” will still be here when I get back, or they WILL get done while I’m away. My kids are no longer “kids” and two of them have already left home, so really? What do I have to worry about? I guess I’m finding myself in that emotional transitional phase of womanhood/parenthood where my babies have all grown and are slowly leaving the nest. It’s not as easy as it looks to just let go and let nature take its course after so many years of putting every ounce of parental wisdom that you ever learned from anywhere, into practical use on these little humans. But I’m learning to worry less, pray more and still give wisdom when wisdom is welcome or needed.

And I do have some good helpers to pack any orders and re-stock my Antique booth at Camp Hill while I’m away, so there’s THAT. See a short video below of my booth at the Camp Hill Antique Centre:

Here’s a little tour of my booth at the Camp Hill Antique Centre in Brisbane!

Be sure to follow my travels on both Facebook and Instagram (especially my stories) – I’ll be flying over in a couple of weeks!

My Favourite Tools of Trade:

I often get asked about the tools I use both for the techie side of my business and also tools I might use in my DIY projects. So I collated a list of some of the things that make “I Restore Stuff” run smoothly, and you can find it right HERE.

I Restore Stuff website on Macbook pro laptop