Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"For I know the plans that I have for you", declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11

What an incredible plan the Lord had for a young newly wed couple 29 years ago when we started our furniture journey. Just 25 and 28, only married for 5 months, Robin and I walked into Furniture in the Raw, not knowing a thing about furniture, as the new owners. Surely I could do this, my father had opened the first unfinished furniture store in Beaumont, Texas and my sis and brother in law were also in the business. I'll never forget our first meeting with the staff. Here we were, a school teacher and a chemical engineer pretending that we had a clue about what was about to happen. I had never bought a stick of furniture in my life and certainly didn't know how to sell any. The only thing that I had sold was Baskin Robbins ice cream, when I wasn't eating it, and panties and bras for Bealls Department Store. Robin had sold mens suits and was quiet the expert on style, after all he was voted best looking in high school with his plaid bell bottom pants and his platform shoes. I think we pulled it off and the staff didn't know that we were leading them without a clue. We became great friends with our furniture finishers who were a husband wife team. Our delivery men adopted us and became our body guards. You wouldn't want to cross either one of them. Our familiy started off with 2 baby store kitties then little by little we added baby Chessers, all growing up in the store. They were often seen toddling among the furniture in their little innertube walkers.

Fast forward about 12 years and 5 children later, and Me & My House was born. As we were trying to decide what to name this new venture, Robin and I talked about how we wanted to proclaim Christ's name in the marketplace. I'm not one of those people who have a great storehouse of memorized scripture in this small brain of mine, but I remember the day the Lord named our business. I was on the way to Fredricksburg thinking how we could make that proclmation and the Lord brought to mind the scripture from Joshua 24:15," As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." I knew that Me & My House would be the name of our new store, dedicated to and named by the Lord.

Oh, and what great timing I had. We had just finished designing our new logo with 4 children in it when we found out that God wasn't quiet finished with our family . . I made the baby announcement when I was showing my family the new logo. They were oohing and aahing over the cuteness of it when I mentioned that the artist had made a mistake and didn't put enough children in it. My dad counted the children on the card several times more and then turned and looked at me with his eyes agap, is that a word? What a fun memory.

I was so sick with morning sickness, I would lay on one of the beautiful sofas and just direct from there, put this there, place that over there, wait, no I really don't like that thousand pound wardrobe there, try it over here. But we all survived and Me & My House made its grand entry on Babcock Road. We all loved it along with our sweet clients who supported us and invited us into their homes to let us play "decorating dress -up". Delightful. We eventually outgrew our location and moved to Huebner Road..

We quickly became a family in that little store. We've loved each other through new marriages, rejoiced over the miracle of new births, held each other through the deaths of parents, had to say good bye to friends but then welcomed new ones to join us not to mention meeting my very " bestest" friend in the world. What a great God we serve. It was a great retail store but so much more, it was a ministry that we all loved being a part of.

What an incredible and glorious ride it has been. We have learned much, grown much and loved much.

But now, God has a new plan for the Chesser family. With a slight pain in our hearts but at the same time, an anticipation about His new plan, we have decided to close our precious Me & My House store. We can't begin to thank all of our clients who have loved the store and loved what we do. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

What will we do? Robin will continue in his incredible finishing business. Have you seen his work? It is amazingly beautiful. If you ever want to see a perfectionist in action, call him. What will I do? Maybe stay home and help raise our precious grandbaby Wyatt, maybe head to the country and open a store there?.............. we really don't know every detail of the future but we do know the One who holds our future in HIS hands. We are resting comfortably and peacefully in that.

As we begin our housecleaning and warehouse cleaning, we hope you will find some great things at great prices.
Again, thank you so much for being a part of our fabulous journey.
Saved by His Grace,

Cathy and Robin Chesser

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's Parade Time...

Parade of homes that is.  If you aren't familiar with this event, not sure if all cities do them, a group of home builders come together in a community and put together a showcase of homes featuring all the latest and greatest in home building and design.

Me & My House has participated in several over the years, wow, thinking back it's been more than several, maybe like 10 or more.  It's one of my favorite things to do because I get a great big empty house and get to fill it exactly the way I want.  Well, that's not entirely true, the builder and or designer does have a beginning vision so we all work together in completing that vision.  It is great fun, no budget, no restrictions, no existing furniture to work around, just an empty canvas.

This year we worked with Dale and Debbie Sauer on their home.  This is the 2nd time we did a parade house with them.  They are great and so accomodating.  Dale is so good about getting his house done in plenty of time, about a week ahead of judging, to let us get in and out without having to spend sleepless nights out there.  There have been a few houses where we were working at the last minute until 1 and 2 in the mornings because of delays in construction.  no fun.  So we really appreciate Dale cracking the whip so that we have an easier time towards the end.

The floor plans arrived in my hands about 6 months ago.  As hard as I try and pretend, I will nver be able to totally read floor plans (Guess that's because my degree is in education, not design) but I feel so "designerish" with the plans all spread out on my desk.  Usually we start with one room and one fabric and it just starts rolling from there.  It's a store team effort, everyone throwing in thoughts and suggestions.  I have the fun part of designing and then I start throwing paperwork at Karen and she has to do all the ordering, not quiet as fun.  At the same time I toss the bed linen fabrics to Heather and she designs all the bed linens.  Like she said in her blog, the text messages and pictures are flying back and forth at all times of the day and night, I call it "design by text."

But it all comes together at last and the day arrives and we load up to unload.  Heather and I make a great team at the house.  She is a quick thinker with a great eye for incredible display.  She had her mommy hat on the first day so I placed all the furniture and got everything ready for her to buzz in and put the icing on the cake on the following days.

It's amazing to see how evrything can come together in one week's time.  Designers, movers, housekeepers, flooring guys,drapery installers, sound people, landscapers, painters and pool people, all tripping over each other trying to get their parts finished.  Heather and I would go from room to room doing whatever area  we could get to.  As Heather was working in this room, the floor guy was also doing his thing in the doorway.

Wyatt came a couple of times to help and supervise.

This sign on the door definitely hindered the creativity, who can be creative without chocolate and diet coke?

This is the media room, lovingly called the man cave.  How many tvs does one room need?

Great Leather Recliner     

Loved the master bedroom, I could move right in.  This is a new bed for us and I'm crazy about it.

Loved the linens, loved the scalloped mirror in the corner, Loved it all.

Heather hard at work 

Just a couple of shots of the study.  Saw this drafting table at one of our craftsmans's workshops and knew it would be perfect for the show.  Made with alder and hand forged hardware.  Robin, my hubby, painted this one an old weathered black.  So handsome.  

Boys room.........I saw these precious dog pictures at market and knew these would be the inspiration for this room.  Writing in the background of the pics are sayings like mind your manners and think before you speak.........know that you are thankful for all your blessings........Above all else, love and you will do wonderful things in the world.

Plus a great cuddle time and goodnight story chair  

Girls room........Goodbye sweet friend. 
We were sad to hear that our all time favorite bed has been retired.  They let us beg for this one but begging wont' work again.  So if you love this one, you'd better get your name on it. We also have a black one that is just as wonderful at the store.  Sorry I didn't get better pictures of this room.  It really looked good.  Loved the fabrics we used and the 3 tiered petticoat that Heather created for the bed.

This is the prefinished room shot.   

Precious white shabby chic vanity and the little stool makes my heart flutter. 

When I was snooping around in our craftsmans workshop I also spotted this clock calling my name.  Doesn't it remind you of the character in Beauty and the Beast?  I really had to sweet talk Robin into finishing one more piece for me.  It is a showstopper.  Thank you honey, dumpling, sweetums.

Let's see, what other rooms..........oh the guest room with the built ins.  Heather did a fabulous job of making those look great.  I would still be there trying to fill them up.

We should call the pillow on this bed the Grace pillow because she designed the original one.  I'm crazy about it so I was glad that Heather used it for this room.  Aren't the layers of ruffles......ruffley?  My fav.

I had originally gotten this bed for our floor and then decided to use it in the parade.  It arrived early so we were going to put it on the floor until the parade.  Before we had it completely assembled, a client walked in, loved it and bought it.  We unassembled it, loaded it back in the delivery truck and sent it to its new home.    Comes in tons of different fabrics.

You may have seen this piece in the store only there is something slightly different now.  It was vintage old white and now its a warm weathered tan and blue mix.  Another beautiful job by Robin although he almost fired me over this one.  He could have always said no but maybe he remembered hunting season is right around the corner and he needs to start stacking up his points now.    

Gathering place for the family.

Hope for all you out of towners, you enjoyed the pictures.  Hope for all you in towners, you will come and see for yourself.

...the wise man builds his house on the rock, Jesus.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock (Jesus)  Matt 7:24-25

Hope to see you soon,

                 Building my house on the ROCK


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Here Comes The Bride...

...Well by this time, it's there went the bride........and a more stunning bride I've never seen.
But let me back up a tad bit to the start of Grace's story with Me & My House. She arrived in December of 2006 for her first interview to a slight mix up. Someone got their wires crossed and Karen was not there to meet with her. I'm not pointing any spectacles but my guess was the mistake was made by the one with shoe challenges (see Karen's blog, April 25, 2011). But it was to my advantage because I was the first to have the pleasure of meeting Kellye Settles. We all loved her and loved the idea of having a cute young thing in our midst to help us middle agers keep thinking and designing young. Because we already had a Kelly working with us at the time ( we miss you Kelly), we quickly decided that 2 Kelly's on our design team would be quiet confusing so we asked if perhaps we could use her middle name. Although we loved the name Lang, we weren't sure how Lang the designer sounded. Kellye decided from that day on in the work world she would be called Grace. I never really knew why she decided on Grace but I did know that it was God's grace that brought her to our doorstep.
Fast forward a few years and Darin, her knight in shining armor rides in and sweeps her off her feet, bringing with him the biggest and most beautiful diamond ring known to man or woman. Her left arm will soon be longer than her right because of the weight of that ring. Jealous, me?
Marriage is to be held in honor among all. Hebrews 13:4
I love to see what Grace creates with her clients because there is always some extra little details that make it a little more special and a little more memorable. She was now off and running to create her dream wedding in the same fashion, and she even let Darin have a say or two. It was a sweet time of planning and preparation, a time of blending and meshing 2 families together , yet starting a brand new one, a time for new beginnings.
"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh, So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." Matthew 19:5-6
Those extra little details.................
Who needs stuffy tuxedos on the young groomsmen and ring-bearers when you can have converse sneakers, cool sweaters with shirt tails hanging out along with
5 little princess flower girls in ballet slippers and long tulle tutus?
Descriptions just fall short so grab some M&M's and a diet coke ( you know you want to) and stroll through these two sites to delight yourself in the details.

(Click Below to see video)
Wedding Video

(Click Below to see Pictures)
I just loved the little boys carrying the here comes the bride sign.......the tiny silver bells that were rung after the kiss..............the stars in Darin's eyes every time he looked at Grace............the bride and groom cookies at the reception ( I didn't mean to take 2)............the great big family gathered around the new one, the dear sweet words spoken by Grace's father.............the Jimmy Choo shoes..........and Boppa, Grace's almost 92 year old grandfather, all dressed up in his best finery for his grand daughters wedding.
Grace loves Darin, Darin loves Grace, What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.
Stop by the store and see the twinkle in Grace's eyes and pick up a few things for your home. Hope to see you soon.
Blessed by the Best,

Friday, July 29, 2011


What to do while sitting at the drivers license bureau waiting for my last to begin a new journey with a drivers license in hand?

We've been here almost 2 hours. I've memorized every face and frown, checked out my fellow waiters shoes, glasses, tattoos, piercings, hair, lack of hair and toe nail polish. I've redesigned this waiting area and come up with a much more pleasing color pallet rather than drab, drabber and drabbest. what's next while I'm waiting...
Oh I know, another introduction of one more precious member of the Me & My House family.
Please meet Judy, a co-worker, friend, sister in Christ and a talent on the sales floor. She is probably one of the first eager faces you'll see when you come into the store, just waiting to start mixing and matching, designing and creating.

We've been blessed to have some long time committed employees and Judy is one of them. She started working with us in 1994. She cut her furniture sales teeth at several furniture stores in town before joining her sis, Karen (see April 25 blog) and sinking her roots in with us.

Judy has a darling daughter, Katie, my little sister in Christ. She is 10 years old and my great texting buddy. She leaves me precious drawings as reminders of Christ's love. This is the one she left for Easter.

Psalm 123 talks about past blessings from the Lord, verse 2 says "Our mouths were filled with laughter."
My favorite past time is laughing and I hear tale after tale at the store to keep me smiling. Here's one involving the star of this blog.
Judy had a long hard day at work. Just one of those glorious days when a factory calls about a delayed order concerning a sofa that won't arrive for a party or the chair that got drop shipped to the out of town client with the wrong fabric on it or a big sale that didn't go through. Just a hard day...and to top it off a wrecked car in the shop. So, Allen and Matt, her brother in law and nephew in shining armor were going to pick her up after work. She drug herself out of the front door, looking and feeling a little like Eeyore, you know from Winnie the Pooh. She spotted the car that will rescue her from her tough day and taxi her home. She opened the back door, threw her junk in and drug her weary self in next. At this point she forgot to sing Katie's Sunday School song about doing everything without complaining, do everything without arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God. With her head laid back and her dreary eyes closed she commented to her 2 men about the kind of day she had and all the fiascoes that had taken place. When she finally paused long enough to look up, she was staring into the startled and shocked faces of two complete strangers. She had crawled into the wrong car. Can you imagine the shock on all 3 faces? Wonder who wanted to be the first to bolt out of the car, Judy or the poor guys that just heard all about the crazy lady's day from Me & My House?
I wonder if Allen & Matt were watching this from their car, eyes as big as saucers, shaking their heads and thinking..."that's our Judy. "
Psalms 126:3 "The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy."

Blessed by the Best,