Fun at a Funeral? 

There it is. I said it. Funerals need to stop with the solemnity. We are all sad, we are all going to miss our loved one… But this is not the opportunity to present hellfire & brimstone, it is also not the time to look at the body and inevitably say “he/she looks so good”, it is a time to gather, fellowship, and celebrate the one who is no longer with us. 

I have been to many funerals over the years. Military. Public Figures. Religious. Non- Religious. Rich. Poor. Young. Old. Cremated. Open casket. Closed Casket. Celebrations of life, and everything in between. I find them unbelievably interesting. 

I suppose, before I go on, I should note that I am not religious. For many years I was, for many more I questioned everything, and finally I settled. Regardless of your creed, death is certain for all of us. It is a law, not a tragedy. I believe in multiple dimensions, other worlds if you will, and I believe that our souls are forever bound even if our bodies are not. 

Back to the point… Our funeral is our last bodily goodbye to our loved ones. Over the years, funerals (IMO) have become more relaxed. You see less structure, and more stories. You hear laughter, see slideshows, and feel a sense of belonging. Families may be getting together for the first time in years. Although the circumstances aren’t ideal, it is always nice to see those familiar faces. 

Tonight, I visited the wake of my great uncle. At 89 years old, he went on from this world. He was a pillar of our small community and served as sheriff for more years than I have been alive. Sure, it’s sad that he is gone, but he lived an amazing life. The wake was somewhat formal, with many uniformed deputies, but the mood was light. Old friends talking, stories being told, smiles and hugs all around.

 I sat with my grandmother and we talked a little about everything. A few years ago when my dad passed (her last living child) she asked me to take photos at the service.  At the time I thought she had went off the deep end, but three years later I am glad that I did. I cherish those as much as I do photos of my kids. It marked an important part of my life, of his life. I happened to look up tonight as they were beginning the Casket Watch, and I have to say it was humbling experience. I was blessed to have known this man. Proud of his service to our country and our community. I knew I had to preserve this memory. For myself. For my children. 


A funeral is not a day in a lifetime, it is remembering a lifetime in a day. 

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Being a (Sports) Mom Sucks. 

I make a living by fixing things. Organizing garages, freshening a room with a coat of paint, cleaning the unthinkable, decorating homes to look like the cover of Good Housekeeping. Give me a project, and I will shine. 

Parenting, however, is hard for a fixer. It’s easy to fix a broken toy, or a scraped knee, or even a splinter in the foot (next time, we will just go straight to the emergency room). Heartbreaks, disappointment, feeling inadequate, these are the tough ones. 

For those of you just tuning in, Chris and I have two boys. CJ (9) and Ty (8) who are a year and six days apart. It’s like having twins. Only better. They’re both smart, and athletic, and different as day & night. It is so hard to be a parent- especially during sports season. 

When they’re babies and toddlers you do everything you can to keep them safe and happy. Lif is just a series of breaking up fights over toys & video games. Good times, y’all. 

Then they start playing sports, and getting involved in extra curriculars, and before you know it, one is better at this or that than the other. Sure you have good years, when they are on separate teams and you are running to two separate practices, two separate games, and just trying to stay sane. 

Then the stars magically align, and your little darlings are on one team, one schedule, and you actually get to cook dinner occasionally. Bliss. Until one gets more playing time, or a higher score, or more tackles. Good lord, here we are again. 

If this isn’t enough, you have all the parent drama. Here are the basic types of sports parents.. and sure I’m a little bit of all of them. 

  1. The Matron Saint of Housewifery.   You know her, or maybe you are her, hell I’ve been her. The mom that brings popsicles for the whole team after practice (guilty🙋). She always has extra socks, bandaids, and bottled water. 
  2. The dad who should’ve been the coach, or the ref, or the team owner. He knows it all and knows it loud. At practice, at games, on Facebook. 
  3. Life story mom. Yep, here she comes. Do not make eye contact. Shit. She’s heading our way. This woman has not had an adult conversation all week, and you just got crowned as her temporary bff. She’ll give you a thirty minute (if your lucky) rundown of everything she has thought, done and ate today. Every. Single. Thing. 
  4. Parent who is sure your child isn’t supposed to be on the team they’re on. How much does he weigh? What grade is he in? He’s awfully big for a third grader. Ya know what lady, I feed him steroids every night at bedtime. SMH
  5. Excuse parent. We were late because… we can’t make it when…we need to leave early….I have to work…I can’t help.. blah, blah, blah. Get with it sissy, the rest of us don’t have lives. 
  6. PJ parent. Maybe this one isn’t such a big deal anywhere else, but the trend in our neck of the woods is ridiculous. Seriously. They sell pajamas that look like jeans, invest. And please, brush your teeth & hair. 
  7. Mom who you’ve never seen before. I’m guilty. I don’t go to every single practice. Sometimes I have to work, or shop, or find my center at yoga. But in all seriousness, which kid does she belong to? 
  8. Parent who’s kid didn’t get equal playing time. These are my favorite. They sit there with a stopwatch and a clip board making sure little Johnny got his fair share of clock time. Jeez. #participationtrophy

I’m sure there’s more- y’all weigh in.

Anyway.. I got off topic. Being a sports mom sucks. Hell, being a parent sucks. All you wanna do when your kid feels like he isn’t good enough is go punch someone in the face. Kids are mean, adults are mean. Life is tough.

There comes a point, before you are ready, that you have to let kids feel their pain, and process it, and learn from it. I think at 8 & 9 years old my kids are old enough to deal with bullies and unfairness and life, without (for the most part) my interference. 

My youngest didn’t place at an academic team meet last night- sure I could go whine about it, but you know what? It’s his fault. He didn’t put the study time in. Did it make me hurt for him, sure. Did I tell him it was okay? Not a chance. It’s not okay, he is far too smart to not place. Kids have to learn responsibility, y’all. There is always going to be a consequence for that action. 

When he was told he wouldn’t be playing at a scrimmage, we didn’t stay home, we didn’t call the  coach and whine. We dressed out, and sat on the bench. Guess what? He played – not much, but he played. You are a part of a team no matter how little you play. Take the time to learn the plays, practice, work. If your coach is any kind of coach he (or she) will recognize your efforts. 

I don’t believe in trophies for everyone. I don’t believe in equal playing time.  I believe in giving 110% in everything you do.  I believe in consequences for your actions. I believe in responsibility. I believe in accountability.  I believe everyone is destined for greatness, and if they work hard, they will achieve it. 

I’m just a girl who decided to go for it. 

I have had a job for as long as I have been able… I remember going to my Granny’s and washing coffee mugs for cash. I had to have been 6 or 7 years old. At sixteen I got my first “real” job- answering phones at the local pizza place. Since then, I’ve worked fast-food, babysat, hospitals, nursing homes, and finally landed a great job working for the state government. All of these gigs were in addition to school and later kids, and at times, both. 

I am no-nonsense when it comes to working. I am a firm believer in pulling your weight, and taking care of your own. I’m not gonna get all political though- I was raised to not discuss politics, and I wish everyone still abided by those rules. Anyway… I’ve had a ton of bosses. Some nice, some not so much. Many who have inspired me, and a few who were completely incompetent. Love them or hate them, it’s a fact of life. 

There’s always been someone for me to answer to… and honestly, I was sick of it. I pitched my business idea to my family & friends, and met a lot of resistance… “you’ve got a great state job”, “you’ll never make enough money”, “the economy is so bad here”….Blah, blah, blah was all I heard. When I set my mind to something – it’s do or die…and I’m still kickin’. 

I opened the concierge business in January. I eased in, taking a job here and there, working evenings and weekends..by April, business was good enough for me to give my notice. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s definitely worth it.  My goal was for Chris to be able to quit the coal mines….and in a year’s time – we were both self-employed. We are now proud owners of two thriving businesses in a crap economy, and we have never been happier. 
I want to encourage anyone that is even toying with the idea of opening their own business to go for it. Something will ALWAYS be unfavorable. Tiptoe if you must, but take that step. 

Yes, it’s hectic. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s hard work. But we love every single minute of it. So here’s to the bosses- especially the self-made ones – hope your day was wonderful!! 

10 Christmas Trends We Love for 2016 🎄

I’m a sucker for a “Santa Claus” tree.. you know the ones. Tons of handmade ornaments, trinkets from here and there, multi-color lights and popcorn garland. It tells a story, brings back memories, and creates new ones. 

I love decorating, but the boys usually have to be bribed to help (they’ll thank me later). 

At the same time, a well styled tree makes me just as happy. Here’s a few that we have done over the years..

All of the pictured trees were decorated with items that their respective owners already had. My favorite though, has the be the fireman themed. 🚒

I thought I’d share a few photos for inspiration this upcoming holiday season! 

            • This gorgeous rustic with a black & white Buffalo Check…
            • A red rustic with plaid, grapevine & berries
            • A black and white contrast..and I am loving the banner!
            • A perfect flocked with mixed metals will fit right in with a classic design. 
            • Another mixed metal masterpiece..
            • French country style comes through in this all white.. 

              • Monochrome, anyone? While it’s not my favorite, I do love a good one color tree.. especially in green- any color will do, though. 

              • I know it’s different, but I really love the simplicity of this criss- cross ribbon. 
              • Think outside the Christmas-Color box.. and try out some hot pinks, limes, and electric blue.
              • When all else fails, you can never go wrong with traditional!

              Inspired yet?? Here’s a few more snapshots of styles that I love for this season…

              These ornaments would work beautifully on either a traditional or flocked tree with white lights.

              Primary colors will make for a beautiful (and unique) tree. Mix and match finishes and styles to bring the look together on a traditional tree.

              Again, you do not have to stick with one finish to make a fabulous tree.. these work great together and can be added to any color theme.

              Still feeling scrooge? Give us a call for a free consultation! We are happy to give you advice for your best Christmas décor. 

              We love hearing from you! coalcountryconcierge@gmail.com

              A quickie in the bedroom….

              Well, it would’ve been a quickie if I didn’t have a hundred projects going at once…mine always come last. 😂 This entire project could’ve been done in a day and the price tag, as usual was tiny….here’s the back story.  

              My Granny has fabulous taste, and a need for a fresh style.  Seriously, she rearranges her furniture all the time, buys new comforter sets & couches, and constantly swaps out her wardrobe. The old gal loves her some change. I don’t even know how she hasn’t traded my Pa in after all these years.  She hasn’t, and I’m glad…I love them both, and I LOVE getting their hand me downs. 

              Having a blast at karaoke! 🎤🎶

              Soooo… I got a hand me down comforter set… a monchrome gray/black/white… and I just HAD to use it. Even if it meant painting and recovering damn near everything. Our bedroom was done in creams and browns with pops of muted teal, orange and lime. Headboard was a brown leather. Walls were toasted oatmeal with a teal accent wall. 

              After a week of staring at the bed in a bag taking up space in my living room, I’d had enough. I jerked out all the furniture and painted with a Walmart version of duck egg blue. Skip the chalk paint, y’all, it’s quadruple the price, twice the work, and the finish isn’t much different than latex…

              The pieces were painted already, so I skipped sanding. Do yourself a favor and remove the hardware. It takes five minutes off and back on, and you can save your sanity for something better. There’s plenty of ways to paint your pieces- I like to use a Shur-Line edger. 

              You get a nice, even finish and you don’t have to tape off anything or paper the floor. (Maybe your should, but I don’t😝).  I’m fairly careful when  I paint, so I didn’t empty the drawers.. but y’all know your limits. Two coats, dry between, and you’re done. I almost forgot- I spray painted the brown lamp a shiny gold, I think I was in a glam mood that day. 

              Bedding ✔ Furniture✔

              Next, the fabric projects.. two lampshades, a headboard, and the chair. 

              The square lampshade was a piece of cake. Fabric glue/nip/tuck done.  

              The bell shaped..omg. I almost quit right there. I wanted to use that toile fabric so flippin bad though. I’d have done video tutorial, but y’all wouldn’t have learned a thing except how many bad words I know.

              He must have been sayin something real good…

              The headboard just went from one leather to another. I’ll get y’all a tutorial for it, super easy! The chair nearly blinded me, so beware when you choose a fabric that you’re gonna have to stare at for a while. 

              Three yards of fabric, a thousand staples and an hour worth of work…… here’s whatcha get. 

              Two things left on the list. A black curtain & change the accent wall. I’m not too picky about curtains, I did use two panels and tie back to one side so they would appear fuller.

               Last, the wall that almost caused a divorce. Chris swears it’s pink, but it is the prettiest shade of coral.  (He should be happy, my first choice was bubblegum pink) 

              And there you have it, folks. A one day dramatic makeover for $100 or less. Hope y’all enjoy! Email questions to coalcountryconcierge@gmail.com and sign up to receive our latest blog posts! 

              Rustic Glam? Is that even a thing???

              Yes it is, and if it’s not, it is now….

              I love me some fall décor, and I especially love something not so cookie cutter… 

              I got a request last week for an autumn scene, and accepted. A little burlap here, bale of hay, pumkpin or two…and bam gotcha front porch lookin like a Pottery barn magazine cover… 

              Yep, easy peasy, do it with my eyes closed kinda work. Until I let my brain run free for a half-second. 

              This wasn’t a porch I was dealing with at all! Instead I had a set of steps and a large concrete patio….and an owner with a modern, glamorous style. (Which I LOVE ;))

              Basically, I just made a few hours of work turn into days of planning, crafting, and hoping that I deliver. 

              I needed height and glitz and a way to pull rustic and glamour together, because there’s no getting around a somewhat rustic feel in a fall scene. 

              I wasn’t sure if this one was gonna play out like it did in my mind, but y’all know I’ll paint damn near anything. A few cans of spray paint and a yard full of gold grass, and voilà…. metallic fodder. We paired it with a burlap chevron/gold bow and I am in love! 😍😍😍

              An old board was upcycled for a glittery welcome sign (leftover paint from our latest furniture project). Faux pumpkins jazzed up with paint, glitter, ribbon, and jewels. Gorgeous mums that I thought I’d have to brawl over, and Oh-emm-geee that OWL. He’s adorable. 

              The wreath was another way to tie the glitz to the rustic simplicity of traditional fall decor. Burlap, mixed with chevron, and lots of shiny embellishments made a great transitional piece… and I love the square wreath form, step outside that circle. 😉

              We love when y’all comment or send us an email with questions! Happy fall! 

              coalcountryconcierge@gmail.com

              My husband & I need a wife (and a husband) 😭….

              Picture it, it shouldn’t be so tough… two thirty-something parents, a couple or so kids, two pets, a house, two cars, maybe a pool and a grown up toy or two… 

              It’s the American dream..but the stress that comes with it is unreal. You think you’ve got your crap together but Friday evening rolls around and you’re exhausted. The 20 hours of sleep that you squeezed into the past six days just isn’t enough. 

              You’re facing a weekend of ballgames, school projects, mountains of laundry, a filthy house, and a store list that keeps growing exponentially. No end in sight. Not to mention the kinks that are bound to happen- the ceiling fan breaks, oil needs changed, one of the aforementioned dogs eats his weight in throw pillows…

              That’s where we come in. Chris and I ran the rat race for years, we know you’re tired, we know all you want to do this weekend is relax and enjoy your family, and we are here to pick up the slack.

              We thought of this business a few years back, after being so bombarded with life that we were always looking for help: House cleaning, lawn care, errands, anything that would free up our tiny bit of time….just like that Coal Country Concierge was born.

              On any given week we give folks back their time, by cleaning, party planning, detailing vehicles, walking dogs, painting, renovating rooms or running errands… the list of things we do is infinite, but ultimately we are just here to free up your free time. 

              If you haven’t tried us yet, you’re missing out! Give us a call today! 606-625-2308