About Me

About Me

Hi Friends!

I'm Morgan (the blonde on the left...)
I'm a wife, "boy mom," artist, and middle school teacher. I'm independent, crafty, adventurous, and completely content watching Full House or Friends reruns while I work on my latest projects. My life is full of joy thanks to my incredible husband, hilarious baby boy, loving family, and supportive friends. These are my adventures.


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Recent Posts

All Mom Wants for Christmas is MORE STUFF! (**Holiday Giveaway!**)

Okay…that title is a total and complete lie. Most moms I know do not want more stuff. I definitely do NOT want more stuff accumulating in my house…even though our new rental is about 900 sq. feet bigger than our last house. I’m really trying to simplify…which is hard at times considering I may just be the MOST sentimental person on earth…and my love language is gift-giving.

I’ve moved three times in the last three years, and will probably make it four by the end of 2018 if Bryce’s and my dream of buying our first home actually happens. With each move, I’ve had a chance to pack and unpack all of my things and each time, I’ve realized: I HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF. Stuff. Eww… I hate that word. Stuff. And yet, that’s what our culture has made Christmas about. Getting people more stuff…stuff that’s on sale…stuff we don’t need…stuff that doesn’t bring us joy.

Maybe you’re like one of the bazillion people who has read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and you’ve already figured out what I’m going to say. The author challenges the readers to examine each object they own and ask themselves: “Does this bring me joy?” There’s more to it than that, but that one simple sentence is what everything Marie Kondo teaches is based on. And it’s a powerful question.

I went through the purging process after moving to St. Louis last year, and it was painful at times thinking of parting with things that I had attached some special meaning to. But now that those things are gone…I don’t miss them at all. And actually…that purging process is healing in a way. It clears your mind and your heart of clutter as well each time you purge something that doesn’t truly bring you joy.

Through this process, I’ve found that the things that bring me the most joy are the most meaningful, simple things: quality time with family, experiences, help around the house…and because my love language is gifts…thoughtful sentimental gifts. One of these gifts that brings me the most joy actually is a piece of wall art which simply says just that: Joy. This piece was created by my best friend and Max’s godmother, Victoria who followed her passions and created her own small business last year, called Madera del Soul. The gift she gave me is made from the re-purposed wooden signs hung at my wedding, with the word “Joy” strung across it in beautiful, bright yellow string. I hung this piece above our bed, and everyday that I look at it, it brings me so much joy as I remember the rainy day that Bryce and I got married, and the dear friend who made it for me.

The pieces that Victoria creates for Madera del Soul are the perfect gifts for the holidays because of their simplicity and their sentimentality. She designs and makes each piece of art by hand as she pours her love and creativity into every one. She collaborates with her buyers and customizes orders to fit each person’s unique preferences.

This Christmas, please don’t add more to our “stuff” collection. We don’t need expensive gifts from big box stores. We want simple reminders that what we do is important. We want aesthetically pleasing homes (that magically do laundry themselves..#amiright?) with beautiful artwork. We want thoughtful, meaningful gifts that won’t end up shoved in a closet. We want experiences. We want a day off without kids. We want gifts that support local artists, and fellow moms who are in the daily grind right along side us. We want to replace the stuff we normally get…with things that bring and inspire JOY.

You can ENTER TO WIN this joyful holiday piece by Madera del Soul to keep for yourself or to give to someone you know by liking my Joynerd’s Facebook page and tagging a friend who would enjoy this blog!

There are three additional ways to enter to win, and you can earn an entry for each!

  1. Like Madera del Soul’s Facebook page

  2. Share my Joynerd’s Facebook page or a favorite post from the page

  3. Leave a comment on this blog post about what brings you JOY, or on my Facebook post!

Remember to SHOP SMALL this Holiday Season and support local artists! Check out Madera del Soul’s Facebook page today and place your Christmas orders by FRIDAY, November 24! Madera del Soul is open for business all year long, so make sure to consider finding a unique, custom, thoughtful gift from there whenever an occasion arises!


Leave a Reply


  • Shelli Jo Bump

    November 22, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    My friends and my family bring me joy. It’s the simplicity of being able to gift others my handmade gifts. We are having a Homemade Holiday this year, OUr gifts will be purchased from my handful of creatively talented friends, because after all love is found on a dime store shelf. Many Thanks for this giveaway and to yourself and Victoria for being simply amazing.

    • Morgan

      November 24, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Love the “Homemade Holiday” idea! That’s SO awesome! We did “Heart Gifts” one year, and instead of buying anything…we did acts of service for each other. Sometimes it’s just so nice to open a gift at Christmas, so I LOVE that idea, Shellie! Happy Holidays!


    November 22, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    I love that you shared Victoria’s business. Buying gifts handmade from her has been some of my most treasured gifts I could give. LOVE IT.


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