About Us

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Howl-oween!

"Trick-or-treat!" Wilder was a return customer.
Agent Brian posing by the pumpkin. Actually he was waiting for Wilder to join the picture, but that didn't happen.
The dudes in black.The truly scary one in the neighborhood. Actually, a neighbor across the street had an awesome and darn-tootin' scary set up in their garage. The teenage son posed in a Grim Reaper costume at the edge of the garage -we honestly thought he was a statue!- and the dad was dressed as another Grim Reaper seated in a chair with the candy bowl in his lap. Strobe lights and smoke filled the blackened garage as ghoulish music haunted the air. Folks stood in the driveway just to see trick-or-treaters' reactions. I didn't want to go in, scaredy cat that I am, but with Brian holding Wilder I figured I'd better, you know, guard them from the scary guy(s.) A little girl in front of us was grabbed by the seated Reaper. Just as we approached -AAAAAHHHHH!- the teenage son (the supposed statue) came up behind us, yelling with raised arms. Wilder flattened to Brian's chest and let out the first yelp we've ever heard utter from his brave little mouth and I trucked it out of there! It sounds much scarier than it was, but Wilder never forgot that house. Once we got back to our home he'd stand in our driveway where the scary house was visible a yelled at it, pointing constantly. He actually wanted to go back! Silly kid.

Trick-or-treating at your house is the best!
One of the best parts of the evening -okay, THE best part- was when Wilder made a group of kids scream. He had a big, fake plastic bone he picked up by the front door and then chased the kids off, swinging it and yelling. He stopped mid-way in the driveway and kept shouting at them to go away. Next year he's going to be a caveman.
Our group effort pumpkin!
And another group effort pumpkin! 7 months today!
Wilder loved trick-or-treating at our house. Over, and over, and over again.
"Just the facts, ma'am."
We feel very protected with Agent Brian around.
Wilder armed with his plastic femur, Brian armed with --muuuuuuscclleeessss!
We had a fun Halloween! Hope yours was a howl, too!

Beauty Bootcamp Video

I had fun putting this little project together! I know it's very homemade, but it's about the best I can do with what I've got to work with. The message gets across which is what matters. Someday...I'll have a professional looking material :) For now, I'm just thankful I've got what I've got -and that I get to finally put my on-camera abilities to work for myself. It's a GREAT feeling!

Also, check out this link on UncommonWomen.net to listen to the radio spots I wrote and recorded yesterday via My Hometown Radio Show, Saturdays 9-11am on Austin's 1370AM talk radio. Pretty darn fun!

More fun at UncommonWomen.net

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Heart for Charming

Check out my heart for charming, found on the Uncommon Women site. Here's the link!

When I was in the fourth grade my mother put my sister and I through our first set of etiquette and charm classes. We met with several gals from our Girl Scout troop at the charm instructors home once a week, looked at diagrams on an overhead projector, learned about crossing our legs, picking out event-appropriate outfits, and how to properly walk up and down stairs. Honestly, I hardly remember a thing except that the instructor enjoyed scarves, wore grandma-looking clothes and had a small kitchen table....

Read more at UncommonWomen.net

And the story gets better and more appreciative, Mom. Thank you for putting endless amounts of energy into making me the woman I am today. I love you!

Microwave, R.I.P.

A week after hearing about my friend's built-in microwave biting the dust, the unimaginable happened. Ours died, too. Darn you, built-in microwave! So this is what it was like to live in the "olden days?" Except that I have electricity, a huge refrigerator, and internet. Okay, so this is not what it's like to live 100 years ago, it's just life without a microwave.

Do you realize how often we use microwaves? I recently met a wonderful gal who does not own one because her husband dislikes the way it changes the texture of food. Funny look on my face after hearing that. How does one function without a microwave? I'm learning the answer to that.

I'm reheating pancakes in the pop up toaster, which is interesting. And I am tailoring what I cook for easy reheating on the stove. Reheating with the oven takes AGES, I might as well be cooking a brand new dish. More planning is involved with meal prep now, but the death of the microwave has rekindled some lost domesticity. At least something good as come out of it pooping out on me.

I'm putting my crockpot to good use and, out of necessity, creating better dinners. Microwaves are excellent at assisting me to eat crap -quick and easy crap. To cook without one I have to flesh out my meals beyond cheese quesadillas.

Who knows when we'll get the microwave fixed or replaced. For now we're coping without it and no one's died yet. Perhaps there will be a day when we say to each other, "Remember when we had a microwave? Yeah, I don't miss it either."

Then again...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday, Wilder! Our little dude turned 2 yesterday, here's a link to all the fabulous photos of the wild animals and party animals! We celebrated with a big breakfast at home then headed to the Austin Zoo. We all enjoyed the wildlife and the various shows they put on -the zoo was the perfect size for our little crew and after two hours we saw nearly everything and had about as much fun as we could stand. We headed to MiMa and Boppa's for a big birthday lunch and were delighted to find a full-blown party! MiMa certainly knows how to celebrate! We had such a wonderful time with them and Wilder was COVERED in chocolate icing -too, too fun. We headed home, then went to the park where Wilder and Papa played while I stopped by the Gtown Chamber of Commerce which was having their annual BBQ and Auction fundraiser. I met back up with the boys and introduced Wilder to the joys of mud puddles. I'm kicking myself for leaving the camera at home; Wilder had a ball splashing in the knee-deep muddy water and we had to strip him entirely before loading him up in the car. Yes, he sat in it, fell in it and basically went to town splashing all over. We had pizza dinner and started the UT football game before Wilder called it a night. What a wonderful birthday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Life: An update

I really should be in bed, but I've missed connecting with you so I had to write at least a quick (ha, that's a joke) note.

Amazing. Just amazing. More serendipitous encounters with awesome women, sharing the passion and spreading the news of Uncommon Women. Classes are starting up next week (yes, I'm THAT crazy.) Wilder's 2nd birthday is this Saturday -going to the zoo. Which zoo? Not sure, but A zoo and it's going to be fun! I'm participating in the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce's annual Bar-Bid-Cue, a silent and live auction with dinner in support of the Chamber. Donating a Beauty Bootcamp class, Total Make Over Workshop, and probably a full photo shoot via Kelly Cameron Photography. "An Uncommon Holiday Show & Sale" is coming up, November 7th, and we have nearly 30 vendors! It's pretty amazing what's happening in my neck of the woods and I am so thankful to see God's evident blessing on these endeavors as I put his vision for my life into action.

Am I nuts? Maybe. Okay, definitely. But I am SO EXCITED!!! I agonized for years and years (and was ambivalent for several) about what God wanted me to do with my life. At the tail end of my time in Scotland working with one of the two theatre companies I was busy with I vividly remember begging that God would reveal what I was supposed to do with my life. I walked the grounds of Carberry Tower praying for clarity during nearly every break we had while putting on a retreat for teens. Straining to hear God's voice, pleading with him for a sign of some kind to show me what I was supposed to do with my life, my talents. Nothing. I went home to the states and pursued my college education, confused and muddled about where my life was going.

I have yet to have a time of clarity of direction and fullness of purpose as I have at this time in my life. Clearly seeing how God directed my life from those early days to this point, I can say with assurance that I am doing what he created me to do. I never dreamed that my journey would look like this -so messy at first glance, but so perfectly designed that I cannot deny God's hand on my life. I do not deserve his mercy, grace and love, but am utterly thankful for them and praise God for his absolute and unwavering faithfulness.

Now it's definitely time for bed. I will spend a few minutes with my little girl before going to sleep -I love feeling her kick and wiggle, rubbing my belly as I talk to her and try to figure out her name. I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for this upcoming bundle of estrogen :)

Many blessings to you and may you choose to be blessed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beauty Bootcamp

You might remember me talking about wanting to have a "Confidence Bootcamp" as part of my curriculum. Last night while hanging out with Wilder I got to thinking and all of a sudden "Beauty Bootcamp" came to mind. It sounded like a better seller and an all encompassing descriptor of the course, so now it's formed and I am terribly excited about it! Classes will start November 14th and will be held on the weekend, though I might expand to a class or two during the week. Registration for girls, teens and womens classes is $175, including materials. Here's the ad!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Last night we had a breakthrough. With 3+ ventures going on at once I have been praying and searching for clarity, wanting a unifying factor other than similar themes. All of my endeavors seemed to piggyback on each other and now I think we've (Brian and I) found that unifying factor and I feel a great peace.

Uncommon Women will turn from being a "non-profit" to a business. We will offer the self-improvement and confidence classes that I was trying to reestablish under Donavan Covey and my photography will be complimentary to the classes -offering before and after photos for make overs, providing headshot-like graduation photos for girls and women that complete course series- as well as being a business in its own right.

So far Uncommon Women has been an organization, not dealing with money at all except for becoming a member at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and renting their facility for An Uncommon Holiday Show & Sale. The booth registration fee has been just enough (well, hopefully it will be enough) to cover rental and membership, as well as covering advertising costs. My plan is to become a business member at the Chamber before the event (currently registered as non-profit) and start advertising the confidence and self-improvement classes. It all makes sense. I've always wanted to do the classes, but I was confused how to make all these things work together.

Another key part of the breakthrough was deciding to hold the classes here at the house. This was my original plan when we moved in -I would use the Donavan Covey room (the formal dining room that is now a sitting room) to hold 6-8 student classes. Now that Wilder is nearly 2 and it's apparent that he wouldn't just play happily upstairs while Mommy taught, I though it was impossible to have classes here and was looking elsewhere. The regular set up, take down, plus the fee for using another facility were more complicating factors. Last night during a brainstorming session Brian and I hung out in the Donavan Covey room and decided it would work. We'll put up a few partitions and if classes start at 7pm that's only 30 minutes before Wilder goes to bed. Brian is incredibly supportive and happy to take care of Wilder while I teach classes. The Donavan Covey room is PERFECT -P-E-R-F-E-C-T!- for this purpose. Not only is it right next to the foyer, but it's intimate, lovely, super feminine and utterly conducive to creating the ideal atmosphere for women and young ladies improving their self-perception and building their personal success tool-kits!

Uncommon Women. It's perfect, isn't it? "Encouraging women of all ages to be confident, godly, beautiful inside & out while pursuing lives of passion and greater purpose." It all fits and finally I feel like the mind boggling puzzle has taken shape and definition. I know God is continuing to bless these endeavors as daily I am encouraged and challenged by new women and new ideas supporting Uncommon Women. I cannot begin to share all of the wonderful experiences I've had so far meeting women who are already walking in the UW direction and whom I have so much to learn from. It's an amazing journey!

Please continue to pray for me and our family as this vision refines and comes to fruition. Pray that I do not miss what God's will is, that I don't plow through on my own strength and "good" ideas, missing the true mark. We all quickly burn out when we charge out on our own instead of keeping in check with God and his fabulous plans. And please pray that I am patient, spend time listening and submitting to God, and have continued vision for Uncommon Women.

It's an exciting time and I am so thankful to have clarity in my direction. And I am incredibly thankful for my amazing husband, my wonderful family of sisters and mothers, and an awesome group of friends. Thank you!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

LIVE, it's Uncommon Women!

Hi there, Neighbors,
A great, big TADA! I made my first video post for Uncommon Women, something I hope to do on a regular basis. This short clip is an intro explaining what UW is all about and what you can expect to find on the website. Honestly, I'm REALLY excited about having "live" bits in order to share. Nap time has proven to be a perfect time to drum up these neat additions. I'm even looking forward to posting with my new little dumpling in my arms!

One thing I want to do is take a personal stand for moms who work at home. I don't have an office and for the majority of the day it's wild around here. Wilder has to take trips with me to businesses and appointments. There must be a balance of professionalism but also I need to be comfortable being confident in my role as a mom who works from home. Kids come with the program and they will be a part of my business, as well (not meaning child labor, of course.) Yes, phone calls have squawking in the background -as well as "Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang" and I can't keep apologizing for it -it's part of my life, the life I have created and want. I don't have to be an at-home executive where the rules of an office apply here -because that's just impossible. And women need to feel the freedom and support to be both mothers (the TOP priority of their jobs) and business women. Girls, it's life.

Check out the new and improved Uncommon Women site and enjoy the video. Savannah sneaks up the stairs at the beginning, but at least you can't hear the works hammering on the roof next door...I think.

Thank you for your support and keep ideas coming my way!

Monday, October 5, 2009


Brian's creating his own triathlon, Army style. He just got a Montague mountain bike -the kind paratroopers jump out of planes with tied to their rucksacks (or legs, or however they do it.) It folds up, therefore terrific for quickly maneuvering around the jungle or dessert, or rocky Afghanistan roads. Yesterday he put his idea into practice and tried a mini-version of what he hopes to make an Army-wide phenomenon: a combination of Ruck March (hiking really fast with a hefty pack,) mountain biking, and running (with a flack vest and wearing your combat boots.) We've been talking a lot about races over here and I realized that I am currently running one myself.

I have just bridged into my 6th month of pregnancy, officially entering my 3rd trimester. I only have 3 more months to get things running before my precious bundle arrives, take 3-4 months off to adjust and enjoy my new baby, and then get all of these crazy endeavors I've started (Photography, Donavan Covey, BeautiControl) to make a significant financial impact as Brian exits the Army and pursues his schooling and career to be a paramedic. But as I write this frantic sounding statement, I really don't feel frantic -simply motivated. I have PURE CONFIDENCE that God will provide for us and we will have a relatively smooth transition from the known to the unknown. In being responsible, right now I have to work extremely hard in order to prepare. I can't simply just trust that God will provide and sit on my tush, twiddling my thumbs, hoping he will send money down like manna.

I'm learning to take "water breaks" during this race. Earlier this year I spent my days playing with Wilder, baking, reading hours at a time, and just enjoying having my family back together. It was a peaceful, quiet life and I liked it. These days I am constantly checking and responding to emails, creating lists in 3 different binders, on the phone several hours a day, and basically putting plans into action. Wilder goes down for a nap, my work begins. Wilder goes to bed, I'm up 'til 11 or midnight working on my various ventures. It's fun, busy, invigorating, stressful, sometimes frantic, and exciting, but I see all of this activity NOW being preparation for 6 months down the road when I won't have this free time, but will need an income.

Back to my "water breaks." We all need to recharge, just as a long-distance runner needs to hydrate. I'm forcing myself to stop several times a day and focus directly on the present, whether that's sitting with Wilder as we read books or having 5 minutes of prayer time. It's not easy with my brain whirling and my to-do list beckoning, but it's necessary. I've got to stop and hydrate. We all need to.

Are you going to pass out from dehydration or are you consciously reaching for that water? No, I'm not talking about your Nalgene bottle. I may seem like a poor person to talk about taking breaks, but I just wanted to shoot out a reminder as I'm continuing to learn along the way: You need to recharge, SO REST. Really rest in those moments.

God bless you as you search for balance, just as I am.

I am taking great comfort in these verses, I hope you do to:

...do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?...But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 7:25-27, 33

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Here it is: The New Site!

The BRAND NEW Donavan Covey website is up and running! No need to check back at the old one, this new site has all the latest and greatest info!

It's rather bare bones at the moment, but will soon be fleshed out more. Stay tuned!

Donavan Covey

The vote is in! (Now, that didn't take long, did it?) I am finally putting Donavan Covey back to use. It will be the banner business for my new endeavors. Only makes sense, right? I was going to start Donavan Covey Charm Classes for Young Ladies, now it will be Donavan Covey everything. I'll be doing Confidence Boot Camps for women, teens and girls in workshop forms which gives me the flexibility to offer more classes and more thorough information than if I limited the course to a consecutive 8 week schedule. Now I can also put the Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo Total You Make Over (I'm not really going to call it that, but it's a nod to my mother's creativity :) under Donavan Covey, as well. I already have business cards, t-shirts, AND a website -Now it's time to use them!

I'm really excited and I'll keep you posted as things develop!
Thank you, Mama, for brainstorming with me. And thank you, Brian, for being my constant sounding board.

Get Excited About Your Closet!

October's Uncommon Women Interview!

We've got TWO wonderful Uncommon Women as our featured gals of the month and here is their spectacular and inspiring interview. Hear how two women started their own businesses and live to tell the tale!

Visit UncommonWomen.net!

New Venture: Make Overs & Confidence Classes

I'm, yet again, stepping forth into a new venture though it rings of past business plans. Finally, YES, finally I am starting my long-planned charm classes, but it goes beyond the classroom. Wardrobe and Make-Up Make Over classes and individual assistance is a biggy for this new biz. The 8 week charm school will now be presented as workshops for both women and girls (in separate classes.) After talking with several women and realizing I didn't have to create an entire workbook but could have several handouts and mainly teach by lecture (more like "friendly chat") and discussion. With that freedom and since I already have all 8 classes outlined in detail, I could theoretically start classes tomorrow! But I won't. Maybe next Friday...

So, I'm looking for an overhead business name. Something that describes the whole outfit, though each side branch can have a slight change of name to suit it.

I guess I should fill you in on the Wardrobe & Make-Up Makeover Classes -I am SO excited about them!

Total Make Over Class: 4 hours $150
The hostess invites several friends over and they split the cost of the class (roughly $25-40 each) or a woman can have a one-on-one session. We use the hostess's wardrobe as a learning tool and she gets personalized help!

-Personalized Foundational Wardrobe Building

-In-Closet Shopping: making outfits you've never thought of, saving hundreds of dollars

-Guided Accessorizing

-Pinpoint Your Wardrobe's Needs: make an economical shopping list

-"How to Shop Smart" guide

-Find "Your Look" and learn your perfect fit

*PLUS* Complimentary:
-Personalized Skin Care Analysis
-Make Up Make-Over and Lesson

Know a friend who could use a "lift" in the wardrobe/make-up department? Get together with a couple gals and surprise her with this fun group or individual class! It's an economical way to learn how to boost your look! Every woman needs this and we're going to have a great time helping you feel and look beautiful every single day!

With that sales pitch out there, here are a few names:

Uncommon Allure

Uncommon Elegance
Uncommon Beauty (but it's also the title of a book by a beloved author of mine)
Natural Beauty
Perfectly Me
Total Confidence

Remember, this name is supposed to cover the whole company, not just the wardrobe and make over classes. I need something that will work for teens as well as women -a title for a whole line of self improvement and confidence classes and services.

Okay gals, tell me what you think -I need feedback!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Dear Friends, scrape me off the linoleum because I am totally floored by events happening in my life. Today on my dry-erase to-do board I wrote "Thankful Thursday" -how utterly appropriate.

My dear mother-in-law came over to watch Wilder so I could go around unencumbered to local women-owned businesses and spread the word about "An Uncommon Holiday Show & Sale." Armed with registration forms, a 1/2 sheet flier for the event and my brand-spanking new business cards (overnightprints.com rocks, folks) I made my way around The Square in Georgetown. I had no idea the blessings that would whop me in the face and I now stand on tired feet to tell the tale.

For one thing, I met some of the neatest people. And I had a slice of outstanding three-layered chocolate marble cake at The Red Poppy Cafe while I took a break. The serendipity of the day was truly insane.

I started my adventure asking God to put everything together -have the right people in the right places at the right time. Well, Amen and Hallelujah, that prayer was certainly answered. If I went into detail (like I usually do) I'd be here till the fat lady sings, so I'll just leave it at saying things were divinely arranged.

We (I always say "we" but it's really "I") have 14 booths signed up and the vendors are outstanding! The caliber of businesses keeps bumping up daily it seems and the enthusiasm I am met with when I share about Uncommon Women is so exciting! I think I was born to network, but weren't we all? It's about relationships and we're all relational creatures. Regardless if you agree or not, I had a marvelously encouraging and productive experience today. And I am thankful, on Thankful Thursday.

Dear God, thank you for so many blessings and a huge dose of encouragement. Help me stay on track, stay focused on what's important, to take time to be a still and know you, and to not miss out on the best things in life -like Wilder singing made-up songs and feeling my tiny baby kick inside my growing belly.

Many blessings to you, friends, and may you seek and receive encouragement today!


Related Posts with Thumbnails