Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Shopping Spree of a Lifetime

We are exhausted.  The home stretch is here and we are out-of-our-minds crazy busy.  So many people have stepped up to help and there would be no way we could pull off having the home ready for the parade if it weren't for them.  It is wonderful.  It is taxing.  I can barely keep my eyes open.  But I had to take a minute to record one of the most incredible experiences of my life.   It happened this afternoon...

I have always loved Deseret Book.  I love their books, music, art, and decor.  I have often said that I could furnish my whole house in Deseret Book items.  Walking in their store just makes my heart happy.  But I rarely buy more than a book or CD or small piece of art.  I have gone there twice in the last couple of months with the purpose of picking out just one big piece of art that I really love for our new home. We've tried so hard to shop clearances and sales and borrow things to stage our home with, but I wanted to really splurge on something that I LOVED.  Well, both times I've walked away empty-handed.  I just couldn't justify it.

Well...  Deseret Book was one of the companies that was contacted about Puzzle Them Home.  Imagine my shock, gratitude, overwhelmedness and just plain giddiness upon finding that they wanted to give us the opportunity to go shopping "on them."  I am still having a hard time believing that it happened, but today, Jeremy and I spent three hours in the downtown SLC Deseret Book selecting the most exquisite art and decor for our home.  We were introduced to such kind, wonderful people there who helped us through the process.  They walked us through the store, explained a lot of the art, and gave us some really good ideas.  They even took Lexi under their wings and were so kind and sweet with her while we shopped.  We were given a very generous budget.

That kind of thing just doesn't happen.  Except it did.  (:

The first hour we mostly walked around in a daze, completely overcome with the many things we had to choose from.  I thought of how this was the art that my children would grow up seeing and remembering and being influenced by.  We wanted to choose carefully and have meaning behind our selections.  The Spirit was often so strong as I contemplated which pieces would mean the most to our family.   Would you like a sneek peek?  (:

This is going in our entryway:

It is titled "Lead Kindly Light" 

This will likely be in the hallway:

"He Anointed the Eyes of the Blind Man"

And this will hang in Jeremy's office:

"Prayer at Valley Forge"

This is just a sample of the many things we were given.   We are so, so excited to decorate our home!!

There really aren't words to express how full my heart is.  We are grateful for the many blessings that are being sent our way.  Life is hard.  There are daily challenges that sometimes feel too hard to bear.   Lately I have been gaining a testimony that life is MEANT to be hard.  We are meant to make sacrifices and to be tried and tested.   Those trials sanctify us and bring us closer to God.  But we are also meant to have JOY.  And I am so grateful for all of the tender mercies and sweet angels that have graced our lives lately and reminded us how our Father in Heaven loves us.   He knows our hearts.   He wants us to be happy.  And He will give us just the right mix of trials and blessings-- the perfect combination to turn us to Him.

Thank you, Deseret Book.

And thank you-- every single one of you-- who bless our lives each day by your kindness, love and presence.  You bring so much sunshine to our lives!



  1. Incredible. That's awesome. I can't wait to see your finished home!

  2. What an amazing gift! The spirit this gift brings to your home will bless your family throughout eternity. I am excited to see it all!

  3. When I saw "He Anointed the Eyes of the Blind" I just started to cry. That is especially meaningful for your family and even though the children whom it is most meaningful to will never see it in this life it will still serve as a constant reminder that some of these burdens which weigh so heavily will be gone with our mortal existence.

    I am so excited for your family!

  4. I love reading your blog and seeing all the wonderful people who are stepping up to help your amazing family. I am thrilled for you guys and your children. Yay Deseret Book!!

  5. That is an amazing gift! I love Deseret Book! I won a cruise from them last year.

  6. I too was brought to tears when I saw the painting of the blind man being healed. I also thought about your sweet blind girls who won't see it in this life with their own eyes, but that it will be a beautiful reminder of what is in store for them someday.

  7. "He will give us just the right mix of trials and blessings-- the perfect combination to turn us to Him."
    Thanks for sharing your testimony. I really needed to hear that. :)

  8. We were given the same picture of Christ when my Mom passed, such a beautiful piece!

  9. Simply amazing - brilliant choices - all of them with the "personal meaning". I'm particularly touched that you would place "Lead Kindly Light" in the entry of your home - just a touch of testimony there, others have covered my thoughts on "He Anointed the Eyes of the Blind Man"; but I'm particularly touched by "Prayer at Valley Forge". Aside from it being one of my fav pieces of historical art - it perfectly depicts a leader looking to our Father for the Guidance that he needs to lead...and maybe that is a part of the job description for the title "Dad".

    Brilliant - love it - love you guys -

    aus and co.

  10. Oh wow! When we were in Utah last month we were at that Deseret Book off Temple square and spent about 1-1/2 hours there - dreaming. That was a great idea for the organization to contact them and how awesome that Deseret Book responded so generously!! Next summer when we drop Jessica off at BYU we are coming to visit!!

  11. What a great blessing. I love all the art but "Prayer at Valley Forge" I have got to say is my absolute FAVE! George Washington is one of my heros! :) (Not to diminish Our Lord Jesus Christ here of course! Jesus is the Ultimate Hero!)

  12. I am seriously a blog stalker, but not a comment leaver. I figured I better let you know, the 'Jessica Barrett' on your list, is my married name-I am your cousin, Jessica Taylor. I didn't realize I would be on your list and was surprised to see my name. I have been following you for a long time. You amaze and inspire me (as you always have). Thank you for being a wonderful example to look up to. I am excited for you and love you a ton!!! Good luck with the last crazy busyness! You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. Beautiful! How blessed you are. How I wish we lived closer so that we could be of help. I cannot wait to see the finished project!! I am sure that you have heard of this guy, but I just saw a youtube video of him. His name is Richie Parker and he is AMAZING!! If you haven't seen him, you and Sophi need to sit down and watch him. : ) Miss you guys!

  14. Congratulations on your new home and the Deseret Book shopping spree! :) You and your family couldn't deserve it more. God bless you!


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