Sweet Virginia Breeze

Sunday, August 4th, was such a gorgeous day in Sweet Virginia!  The sky was an amazing shade of blue, the clouds were puffy and white, and the temperature was perfect!  Because the weather was so beautiful, and we took the boys out to enjoy the sights of Richmond.  They absolutely love trains, so we stopped by the Richmond Railroad Museum and it was a big hit!  The sweet gentlemen who worked there told us all sorts of cool facts about the history of Richmond’s stations and train lines.  The boys have already asked to go back, and we will gladly take them.  The Museum is free to visit, and you may donate if you like.  We donated $5 and because of our donation, we took home four awesome prints of old train engines that the boys will be hanging in their new room.

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After the train museum, we took a scenic route through Richmond and enjoyed the beautiful architecture.  Our two oldest boys always love looking at the city.  Whenever we pass through downtown, they point out every tall building as we go by and say “Mommy, look at that pretty city!”

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Our next stop was the Science Museum of Virginia and the kids had a great time there, too!  We loved the new Robot exhibit, and I think the kids could have stayed at the bubble blowing exhibit all afternoon.  I had been to the museum a few times before, but going with my kids was amazing!  Watching them learn and discover is pretty awesome, and although they had a ton of fun, I think we had more fun watching it through their eyes.

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One of my favorite shots was in the Robot Exhibit Hall.  My oldest and I were walking together, and I noticed our shadows on the wall.  Phone in hand, I pulled up the camera app quickly and was able to capture this sweet moment:

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As if Sunday was not awesome enough, we had a fantastic time celebrating our littlest man’s first birthday on Saturday!  It was a wonderful, fun celebration with our family and friends, and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day!  The weather was AMAZING, the food was delicious, and the family time was priceless.  Happy 1st Birthday to our sweet Baby O!

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This weekend reminded me of why I love living in the sweet breezes of Virginia.  I’ve always called this beautiful state home, and I am so grateful to live here.  I think there’s beauty in every state in the US, but I have a fondness for the Old Dominion.  We have the best of the best – our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains; fun, eclectic, evolving cities; rich history; sweet country towns; beautiful lakes and rivers; lovely, sprawling farms; quaint villages and towns along the Chesapeake Bay; some of the most prestigious (and fun!) colleges and universities the country has to offer; the wonderful Bay itself; the Atlantic Ocean; and easy access to amazing cities and attractions all along the East Coast.  For travelers, our very own Richmond International Airport was just rated #2 in the country – go RIC!

It is because of my love for our great state that our Sweet Virginia Breeze candle from our Signature Collection was born.

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Our Sweet Virginia Breeze candle marries some of our favorite things about Virginia…the crisp, refreshing, salty air of the Chesapeake Bay, and sweet flowering dogwood fragrances.  Our Sweet Virginia Breeze candle has been described as an “experience” and a “beautiful candle that is perfect for anyone who loves Virginia.”

When I first sat down to design our Signature Collection candles, I knew we had to create a tribute to our sweet home state, and it turned out beautifully!  We’ve received awesome feedback about Sweet Virginia Breeze from our customers, new and future retailers, and new friends who work for Virginia Tourism and Virginia Living.  To see our Sweet Virginia Breeze candle and learn more about our Signature Collection, please Visit the Candle Shop at www.sweetmelissasfragrancefactory.com.

This past weekend was full of family and friends, and was awesome!  What made it even more amazing is the fact that we live in such a beautiful state, and have a pretty incredible backdrop for all of our family events and adventures.

So, here’s to the Blue Ridge Mountains, our lovely Chesapeake Bay, and all of the beautiful land in between!  Cheers, Sweet Virginia!

Click Here to Listen to Sweet Virginia Breeze

Sweet Virginia Breeze
By: Robbin Thompson

Woke up this morning the breeze blowin’ cross my face
And I just had to look up above and thank somebody for this place
Because He must’ve been thinkin’ bout me
When he planted that very first dogwood tree
It’s where I want to be
Livin’ in the Sweet Virginia Breeze

Take me out to the country it feels mighty good out there
When I get back to the city of the monuments
It doesn’t matter where I hang my hat it’s home to me
The Blue Ridge Mountains tend to set me free
It’s where I want to be
Livin’ in the Sweet Virginia Breeze

Wakes me up in the mornin’
Rocks me to sleep at night
I’ve got a red bird singin’ on my window sill
I know everything will be all right
Livin’ in the Sweet Virginia Breeze

Just sittin on my back porch
I’m just watchin’ the sun come up
Sweet sweet Virginia Breeze blowin’ ripples ‘cross my coffee cup
Because he must’ve been thinkin’ bout me when he planted that very first dogwood tree
cause when that breeze comes blowin’ through the trees
you know everything will be alright
Livin’ in a Sweet Virginia Breeze
Sweet Virginia Breeze

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If you are new to Sweet Melissa’s Fragrance Factory and are wondering who in the world we are, take a minute to read about us here!

If you are a retail store owner interested in adding our candles to your store’s inventory, please contact us today at melissa@sweetmelissasfragrancefactory.com.  We are advertising in several online and print mediums and will advertise your store for free!  We are excited to announce that we will be featured in Virginia Living Magazine in September and would love to promote your store!

Please also check out our Sweet Sponsor Program!  We provide reciprocal advertising to all of our sweet sponsors for free in appreciation for your support!

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To all of our Sweet Fans and Customers, stay up-to-date with the very latest from Sweet Melissa’s, including our sweet family, adventures, and opportunities to earn coupons for candle purchases by visiting us on the following Social Media sites:  Facebook., Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!  Thank you so kindly for reading Sweet Words!  We sincerely appreciate the time you spent here!  Have a sweet day!

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Sweet July

Sweet friends, can you believe we are already halfway into July?  Time sure does pass quickly during the sweet summer months, doesn’t it?

If you have been following our journey and keeping up with us on Facebook, you’ll know we’ve been busy getting the word out about Sweet Melissa’s Fragrance Factory since our June 29th launch.  We have received incredible, amazing, wonderful, fantastic support since we launched, and we are sincerely humbled and grateful to our sweet family, friends, and new fans who have checked out Sweet Melissa’s, liked our posts, photos, boards, tweets, you name it!  We sincerely thank those of you who have purchased candles and we wish you many, many hours of sweet fragrances and beautiful light.  It is a wonderful feeling to feel support from the people around you as you pursue a life dream 🙂

As you may have read from me before, the most important things in our lives are our three boys.  And, whenever we get to spend some extra time with them, we are unbelievably happy!  We had a pretty fantastic July 4th weekend, and the kids had a blast!

The first thing we did was start July 4th being awesome.

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Then, we did a little laundry.

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Then, we took a nap.

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Next, we gathered our friends and family together for a cookout slash pool party!  We had most of our boys’ cousins there and although it is always chaotic to have seven kids under the age of four together, they are creating memories that will last forever.  Our boys have a crazy love for swimming, so they had a super fun time swimming in the pool.  We pretty much had to drag them out of it when they started shivering…and even then they fought not to get out 🙂

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The next thing we did was drive to a local mall parking lot and catch the town’s fireworks right when they started.  Our littlest man fell asleep for these, but our two oldest sons were in awe.  It was such a sweet moment.

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The next day, our little fellas spent the day with their grandma while mommy and daddy went to work.  Mommy and daddy always miss the good fun.

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On Saturday, we spent the first part of the day at our cousin’s first birthday party!  In attendance at this party were one cute little baby, one brave superhero, and one awesome kid.  Our two oldest little fellas requested to dress like superheroes for the party.  We of course complied…and were jealous 😉  Where’s mommy’s super cape?

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Saturday night, we went to watch our favorite baseball team play, The Flying Squirrels.

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When the game finished, we had the opportunity to watch fireworks with several thousand of our Richmond neighbors.

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On Sunday, we woke up tired, but ready for a new day!  We went to another pool party with some sweet friends of ours and had a blast!  We tried to take some photos, but our little fellas were all cheesed-out.

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And exhausted…

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After having all of that fun over the weekend with family and friends, we decided to start the week with a dinner out just for our family.  We are sorry to the restaurant for the giant mess and loud giggles, but we had a lot of fun.

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And now, we are back to our usual…making messes, having fun, looking for bugs, and being awesome.

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We hope you are having a wonderful summer and are able to spend a few sweet moments with your favorite people doing the things you love!  Take care sweet friends!

To stay up-to-date with very latest from Sweet Melissa’s, including our sweet family, adventures, giveaways, new product announcements, and to earn coupons for candle purchases, please join us on Facebook.  To see our candles, please visit our store.  You can also find us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!  Thank you so kindly for reading Sweet Words.  We sincerely appreciate the time you spent here.  Have a sweet day!

Sweet Sponsor Sunday – Father’s Day Edition

Friends, welcome to Sweet Sponsor Sunday’s Special Father’s Day Edition!

What is Sweet Sponsor Sunday?  Well, if I had to pinpoint the most important thing I’ve learned in my ten years as a marketing professional, it would have to be the power of word of mouth advertising.  It is so much more valuable than paid advertising, and infinitely more meaningful.

I believe in supporting fellow business owners who are doing great things.  I believe in the power of reciprocal advertising and all of its benefits.  Small businesses are the heartbeat of America.  I have known many small business owners during my life, and they are by far some of the most down-to-earth and hardest working individuals I have ever known.

On Sundays, Sweet Melissa’s hosts Sweet Sponsor Sundays and showcases organizations that we believe in and who have taken the time to support us, and we ask that our sweet friends show our wonderful sponsors some love!

Today, we are changing up our Sweet Sponsor Sundays to showcase someone very special, my husband and the father of my sweet boys!

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Fifteen years ago, I had the privilege of meeting my husband, and my life was forever changed for the better.  I grew up in an unstable environment, and when I turned sixteen, I couldn’t wait to get out of the house and start working.  I decided to apply to a local theme park and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  I took my little brother with me for support, dressed in my best khakis and yellow dress shirt, and headed to the HR office of the park. I applied for a job in the Games Department, and thankfully for me, Games was full but Rides had an opening.  I was placed in the children’s area on a roller coaster, and I was thrilled.  I had the time of my life that first summer working at the park.  I met amazing people who are still an incredibly important part of my life.  I worked long hours, but I learned how to work hard, how to provide great customer service, the importance of time management and responsibility, and most importantly, commitment.

I couldn’t wait to come back to work again the next summer.  I was promoted to Supervisor that year and was looking forward to another fun summer.  My weeks were again filled with long hours and hard work, but I loved it!  I met so many new friends and we had a blast working together and hanging out after work.  I think of those days so much and smile!  Although all of us looked forward to the end of the summer because that meant the end of daily operation, I know I can speak for many of us who worked there that we didn’t always look forward to the end of the season.  I missed the park when I wasn’t there, and I missed my friends.  The park was an escape for me; an escape from my instability in my home life and from the challenges I experienced growing up.  I truly enjoyed it.

It was toward the end of that second season when I was working at one of the children’s rides by myself during the last three hours of the night.  From 7pm to 10pm, we were pretty much by ourselves working the last rotation at each individual ride.  That was sometimes a grueling rotation depending on the ride we worked.  On the night that changed my life forever, I was working at a small children’s roller coaster.  It was tough work, but it was fun too.  This coaster was usually a child’s first, and watching their smiles was awesome.  I can’t honestly write this and say it was fun all the time though, but it was usually a pretty great place to be.  That particular night was nice and cool (it was early Fall).  Around 9pm, the carrying manager of the children’s area decided to come pay me a visit to see how I was doing.  He stayed for a while and helped me run the ride for about 20 minutes.  He was older than me, and I was a bit intimidated.  I knew of him but didn’t really know him very well.  He was part of a different clique of people at the park that I wasn’t a part of because I was new to management.  He and his friends were all older than me and on their own.  He also had a way with the ladies, or so I heard 😉

Since that initial meeting, he and I hung out a bit more during breaks at the park or after the park closed at night. He would come by and visit every once in a while when I was working a ride, or help me with end of the night closing tasks.  It was during one of those nights in the office after the park closed that he wrote his pager number on a sticky note and gave it to me.  It took me several days, but I finally worked up the courage to page him (that sounds so funny now) and he called me back a couple hours later and we ended up talking into the night for over four hours. We realized we had so much more in common then we initially thought, and I was thrilled when he asked me out on our first date.  It was planned for a few days later, the day after Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Prior to our date, I was planning to visit my family at my grandparent’s house for the holiday.  They warned me that they were all feeling bad with stomach issues, but I ignored the warnings and visited anyway.  I made it through the actual Thanksgiving holiday unscathed, and woke up the day after excited for my date and still feeling good.  Later in the evening, as I was getting ready, it hit me…the nasty, unforgiving stomach plague I caught from my family.  In just a matter of minutes, I was on the floor feeling AWFUL.  I couldn’t believe it!  He was already on his way to pick me up, and had to drive 35 minutes to get me…there was no way I could cancel.  I was determined to go out, so I attempted to eat a few crackers, drink some ginger ale, and hoped for the best.  I couldn’t keep anything down.  When he arrived to the house, I was sitting on the floor.  I’ll never forget the look on his face when he walked in.  Looking back on it now, it’s kind of funny, but I’m sure at the time he was not amused.  He asked me if I still wanted to go, and I said yes…and I’m sure he was hoping and praying I’d say no.  We had planned on dinner and a movie, about 35 minutes from my house.  I laid down in the car all the way there and only drank a Coke at dinner.  I missed most of the movie because I was so sick.  We did talk a little bit, but mostly about how sick I was.  At the end of the movie, he took me home, and I apologized profusely.  I knew he’d never call me again after that, and I was disappointed that I made the decision to continue with the date.  I went to bed, feeling sad and mad at myself.

The next day, I stayed in the bed most of the day.  I missed work which wasn’t like me, but there was no way I could go.  I was feeling sorry for myself and still mad at myself for ruining my date.  Around 6pm that evening, my step-mom came in my room and told me he had called…just to check on me!  I couldn’t believe it and was so happy.  He told her to have me call him later.  I did, and to my surprise, he asked me out again.  I couldn’t have been happier.

As the familiar saying goes, the rest is history.  We started dating exclusively within a couple of weeks, and dated all throughout college (I went away to school and he attended locally).  We had our fair share of highs and lows (still do!).  We fell apart and came back together.  I was a wreck when we weren’t together, and missed him terribly.  It was during those times I knew he was the one for me.  We had so much fun together, and I looked forward to every day with him.  After ten years of dating, he asked me to marry him in the most special way.  My late Grandfather was very sick and had a grave prognosis.  Everyone knew how important my Granddaddy was to me, so my now husband decided to have my Grandfather hand me the box with the ring in it at the dinner table at my Aunt’s house.  It was in a Life Saver’s box (which represents how his Dad proposed to his Mom), and he asked me to marry him when I opened the box.  My sweet Granddaddy was able to be there for it, and I am so grateful for that.  He passed away just a month later, and I am so happy that he was able to be a part of one of the happiest moments of my life.  My sweet husband knew just the right thing to do.  I didn’t need a fancy proposal; I just needed a memorable one.  It was perfect and meant the world to me.

We’ve been married for almost six years now. We have three sweet boys who are our lives.  They are the smartest, cutest, sweetest, most precious little things and we are just in love.  My husband is a wonderful father to them!  He is very patient and he is kind.  He teaches them so much every day, and plays with them…truly plays.  He is in the floor or outside with them every day.  He is present, and that is the most important thing.  They love their Daddy so much.  Their little faces light up when they see him, and I am so thankful to have such an awesome partner to raise our sweet boys.  I couldn’t imagine a better life than what we’ve created.

I’m so thankful I made the decision 16 years ago to apply to work in the Games Department at the amusement park, and am so glad I was hired by Rides instead.  I never would have met my husband, and would not be sitting here today reflecting on how much I love him and how grateful I am that he is the father of my children.

Dear M, thank you for 15 great years, for our sweet beautiful boys, and most importantly, for loving me.  You truly are a great husband and wonderful father, and I am appreciate you more than words can express.  I love you!

Sweet Love

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Becoming a Daddy For the First Time:

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Second Time…

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Third Time…

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Beautiful Life…

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If you are interested in learning more about how to be featured in Sweet Sponsor Sundays as well as on our Sweet Sponsors page on our site, please contact us at melissa@sweetmelissasfragrancefactory.com.  We are currently reaching over 40,000 on Facebook per week, over 2500 on our website per week, and over 500 on our Sweet Words blog.  

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

~Maya Angelou

To stay up-to-date with the very latest from Sweet Melissa’s, including our sweet family, new business adventures,  and to earn coupons, please join us on Facebook.  Thank you so kindly for reading Sweet Words.  We sincerely appreciate the time you spent here.  Have a sweet day!

My sweet, sweet boys.

We are up late at Sweet Melissa’s, but we are happy, and loving every minute of these sleepless nights!  If you have been keeping up with us, you know we are in the middle of packing up our home.  We have started packing up extra furniture and filling boxes.  We have secured a new place to live, and if all goes well, we start moving into our new place next weekend.  I am fairly certain I am in denial.  Complete denial.  If you read my post about my home sweet home, you know I’m struggling with leaving it.  I know everything will be alright though because at the the end of the day, I know that my home sweet home is where my husband and boys are, not the four walls surrounding us.

In the process of packing up, we took down the top bunk of the boys’ bed (which we never let them sleep on – they are not quite old enough) and we also took down our second son’s toddler bed.  As of this week, our two oldest are sleeping in the same bed.  They are absolutely loving sleeping in the same bed.  Neither of them have ever once shed a tear about us removing the toddler bed or the cool top bunk that turned the bottom bunk into a fort for my oldest son.  They are truly happy about sleeping in the same bed.

My inspiration for this post came tonight as I went into their room to check on them. They are both hugging little teddy bears my Mom recently gave them, and they are snuggling with each other.  They have their arms wrapped around each other.  It is the cutest.thing.ever.  Being the paranoid Mom that I am, I did reach over one to cover the other, and that in turn caused them to turn over a little bit so the sweet snuggling moment was over.  But, that’s alright because I had the opportunity to see them like that for just a couple of seconds, and it was absolutely heartwarming.

When I was pregnant with my second son, we kept telling my oldest that we were growing a playmate for him.  I never realized how important they were going to be to each other and how much they would love each other.  My middle child follows his older brother around and has been mirroring him from the moment he could start moving on his own.  They love playing together, and they talk to each other sometimes like they are grown men.  I love listening in on their conversations when they do not know I am listening.  Now, I can’t honestly write this post without admitting they are not the perfect little boys I have been describing all of the time.  Yes, there are moments when they fight, but as quickly as those moments occur, they pass just as fast.

My youngest son is starting to interact with my two oldest and it is the sweetest thing to watch.  He is just ten months old, but he wants to be with them, and he loves them.  He truly loves them.  He watches every move they make and he just laughs and laughs.  He hugs them and his sweet little eyes close when they hug him and give him kisses.  It is as though he is closing his eyes and taking in that sweet moment of love.  I think he is an old soul already.

I look at these three little blessings and I realize that my husband and I have had the great joy of creating our own little family, but more importantly, we’ve created a family that will go on when we are no longer on this Earth.  We’ve created three boys who will support each other, love each other, and hopefully be there for each other for a long time.  We’ve created brothers, who will become best friends, best men at each others’ weddings, and uncles to each others’ kids.  It fills my heart and eases my mind to know they will always have each other.

I love my sweet, sweet boys.  Moms have a love for our children that never ceases.  I am proud of every little thing they do.  I am watching my third son do new things and say new words every day, and even though I’ve experienced these new beginnings with my older sons, they never get old, and I am just as proud of my little man and his new discoveries as I was when my two older sons experienced the same things.

I celebrate my sons every day.  If you have perused my blog and checked out 365 Days of Sweetness, you know that I vowed to take at least one photo of each of my sons every day of the first year of their lives.  I am committed to this goal, and despite my busy life, I have missed just a handful of days out of the past three and a half years.  I am proud of this feat, but more importantly, I hope that my sons look back on these photos and experience happiness and joy as they watch themselves transform from newborns to toddlers.

I am so lucky to be their mom. They are precious, smart, sweet, and perfect.  Above all, they are my greatest success story.

To check out my “Photo a Day” project, click here.

T, R, and O – I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always.  As long as I’m living, my babies you’ll be.

To stay up-to-date with very latest from Sweet Melissa’s, including our sweet family, adventures, and to earn coupons for candle purchases, please join us on Facebook.  To see our products, please visit our store.  You can also find us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!  Thank you so kindly for reading Sweet Words.  We sincerely appreciate the time you spent here.  Have a sweet day!

Home sweet home.

Hi sweet friends!  I am getting so anxious and excited for our June launch!  We are mixing, testing, smelling, and designing like crazy and our Signature Collection Candles are going to be exquisite.  I am in love with them and sure hope the rest of the world will be too.  This is such an exciting time, yet is also a time full of anxiety and a bit of stress.  Not only have we launched Sweet Melissa’s, but we have also made the decision to sell our house and build a new one.

We thankfully accepted a contract on our house after being on the market just three and a half months, and if all goes well, we hand over the keys to the new owners on June 14th.  I can’t say I’m excited to leave my house.  We were first-time home buyers eight years ago and we are selling to first-time home buyers.  We have experienced so much in this house…decorating and re-decorating just about every room (sorry about changing my mind so much sweetie), planning our wedding, career changes, love, arguments, the passing of our sweet dog Kaya, the birth of our three precious boys, Christmas parties, birthday parties, family dinners and gatherings, watching our two oldest sons take their first steps in the family room…

I have so many memories here that I will carry with me forever. I remember anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first son.  Being Type-A, I had my husband paint the nursery immediately upon finding out I was pregnant.  I chose a neutral green because I couldn’t even wait to determine the gender of the baby.  Before he was born, I remember sitting in that nursery looking around and being so thankful that I had been given the opportunity to carry a sweet baby.  I remember sitting in it happily looking forward to rocking my sweet boy to sleep, giving him baths in his little blue whale tub, and playing with him in the floor in front of his crib. Looking back to those moments, I cannot believe how much my life has changed.  Three and a half years later, our family has grown from two to five, we have experienced major career changes, additions and losses of sweet family members, and everything in between.  We are completely different people than we were when we bought our house eight years ago.  Just about everything in our lives has changed.  But, one thing has remained constant.  One thing has provided us shelter from the storms of life (and literally from thunderstorms), has provided us a place of comfort during difficult times, and a place of celebration during happy times – our home.

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I am having a hard time accepting that I only have three more weeks to live here.  I am finding myself second-guessing our decision to sell our home.  I am hoping the new owners will take as good of care of it as we have.  I hope they create new memories and keep these walls alive with happiness and love.  I feel like I am saying goodbye to an old friend.  My home has stood by me, silently and strong, while the rest of my life has changed around me.  If these walls could talk, they would tell me to stop stressing out so much, to not worry about keeping them clean and to enjoy life, and to stop being sad about moving on.

We are staying in our town, so chances are I will be driving by this house a lot.  I am always going to think of it as my home.  Yes, I am going to be nosy and drive by and see how the new owners are taking care of it.  Will they water the peony my Mom bought for me and watch it come to life every year with beautiful blooms?  Will they let the birds nest in the plants on the front porch and enjoy nature’s beauty and the sounds of baby birds being born?  Will they sit by the fireplace in the winter and enjoy time together with each other in the family room?  Will they decorate the yard for Christmas and stand out in the street in the freezing cold admiring their handiwork?  Will they invite family and friends over and celebrate birthdays and holidays with love and fellowship?  Will they appreciate all of the love and time we spent over the past eight years putting our mark on this place, our home?

I had no idea I would be so emotional when the time came to leave our home.  I should be excited.  So many homes stay on the market for so long without even a look. Although I am sad, I am also grateful.  We set out to sell our home and build one that better suits our growing family, and we’re halfway to accomplishing that goal.  We are lucky and blessed to be able to do this.  However, my home is a part of me.  It will always be.

To my home, thank you for the past eight years.  You have been a place of comfort, happiness, joy, and even sadness at times.  You have been here silently taking care of us, and I sincerely thank you.  You will always be my home sweet home.

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To stay up-to-date with very latest from Sweet Melissa’s, including our sweet family, adventures, and to earn coupons for candle purchases, please join us on Facebook.  To see our products, please visit our store.  You can also find us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!  Thank you so kindly for reading Sweet Words.  We sincerely appreciate the time you spent here.  Have a sweet day!