The scoop on our first empty nester trip to Austin and Waco!

My husband and I sent our youngest son to college this fall, and can I just say: empty nesting is for the birds! I’ve always been the sort of mama who laments the start of school, because I so enjoy the company and conversation and joyful work of raising our sons. I’d been bracing myself for the wonderful-for-them-but-hard-on-mama time when our youngest would go to college this fall, but still, it’s been awkward. Disorienting. Hard.

But alas, the silver linings are many, and evolving. First, all three of our sons are blossoming and thriving in their college endeavors, and we couldn’t be more proud, or grateful.

Second, I get to hang out with my husband again! We have so much fun together, and over the years, sometimes that fun gets lost in the daily-ness of child rearing, bill paying, and work going life. But now, we’re having so much fun planning for the next chapter of our lives together.

Today I’m sharing one of the first empty-nester things we did: taking a trip to TEXAS!

Full disclosure: He called it “the Austin trip.” I called it, “the Waco trip.” Because he’s all about cooking and grilling and the art scene, and I’m all about the art scene, and…well…I’m a Fixer Upper JUNKIE.

You can follow along with my DIY and Fixer Upper-ish projects on my instagram site, Scrap Wood and Still Life. In the meantime, enjoy some glimpses of our time in Waco! I’ve added about a hundred million projects to my DIY list because of this trip, it was so much fun and so inspiring!

The silos! I’m here!

The staff here are experts at merchandising. Aren’t these faux fall stems beautiful? I wanted to bring home EVERYTHING I looked at!

Gotta get me a thing of wheat for sure.

Seriously, it’s a crate with faux stems.

How do they make it look so irresistible???

Of course I love books. So of course, I have to find myself some corbels and make my own book ends like these! How adorable, right???

Another display in the store.

How cool are the overlapping mirrors?

I have a bunch of random mirrors.

I’m gonna have to duplicate this look.

That’s all there is to it.

“Come Thou fount of every blessing.”

One of my all-time favorite hymns.

I have a sharpie.

I can find a cool big frame.

I’m so gonna copy this.

So, not only am I a writer and a DIY-er, I’m a nurse. An RN. And behind every RN is an awesome clipboard.

Now, this one is really thick, so I wouldn’t use it at the hospital.

I’d make it to clip photos to, or maybe to clip recipes to in the kitchen. I have several antique binder-type clips, so I know I could duplicate this. And so, I MUST.

Just so cool.

Don’t ya think?


Speaking of original book ends, check out how they use these antique woodworking clamps! You guys, these are a woodworker/book lover’s DREAM!!!!

Gotta find some old clamps.

(My Dad, who is my idol–carpentry and beyond–says I can’t have any of his. He’s using them, after all.)

I’m already searching Facebook Marketplace for someone getting rid of an old, wooden ladder. How adorable and industrial-ish is this bookshelf???

I found this at a store near the silos–that’s every bit as cool as the silos–called The Findery. I highly recommend visiting The Findery stores if you make your own Waco trip.

I stole a bunch of ideas from them, and I actually found an adorable dress there, too.

A beautiful table at The Findery.

Another beautiful table at The Findery.

Love how they put a metal inlay on the top.

So how cute is THIS little rustic wall sconce?

Could hold fresh or faux flowers, perhaps pencils or crayons in a homeschooling room, maybe cotton balls and Q-tips in a bathroom.




So many buildings in Austin and Waco have beautiful murals on them.

Waco has quite the soul, indeed.

The storefront!

Of course, when in Waco, we had to visit Clint Harp’s place.

I love all of the Fixer Upper episodes where Joanna commissions Clint Harp to do various (and GORGEOUS) woodworking projects.

This item holds photographs under the burlap strings.

SOOOO cute!

Likewise, his little store front did not disappoint.


Wooden pumpkins at The Findery. Surely #icandothat.

One of my favorite things at the Harp Design Co.

Two-by-fours routed out to hold simple chalkboards.

Be still my DIY HEART!!!

Letters made with 2×4’s and a little simple hardware.

Also from Harp Design Co.

Get. In. My. Workshop!!!

I have old egg crates.

And faux greenery.

And glass vases.

These are at The Findery.

Copying NOW.

This wall display was probably my very favorite part about the Magnolia store.

Brokenness is beautiful.

If you’ve read my novels, you know that’s my overarching theme.

For my books.

My art.

My everything.

Inside the little garden store on the Magnolia property.

Probably my favorite part.

Flowers outside the Magnolia garden center.

Food trucks within the Magnolia center.

In summary, such a wonderful trip!

With such a wonderful husband!!!

(photo below of me and my hunky husband in front of an iconic wall in Austin.)