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05 Mar 2020

Update on Lindsay + Team Picks for Spring

* This post was originally an email on March 5, 2020 

Rosie Horizon Abstract

Hello, friends,

Lindsay is home and we're happy to report that her recovery is going very well. She experienced some crazy side effects and a lot of fatigue—all to be expected after widespread infection. But the side effects are diminishing and she's steadily regaining energy. I know she appreciates continued prayer as she continues to rest, heal, and go through all of the follow-up appointments. 

(For those of you who might have missed the first email and aren't on social, you can read about what happened in this blog post of the original email.

We don't like dwelling on how scary a couple of those days were, but we remember them enough to be very grateful for this outcome. Thank you for praying, hoping, and believing, and thanks for all the kind messages of support.

Little White Barn II

We've spent a lot of time ruminating on hope and healing these past few months, and here we find ourselves in the season for it. Spring. Easter. New life.

Most of our team lives in the Midwest, where Spring is never a straightforward affair. Last Sunday I wore a dress and no jacket, basking in the warmth of 62 degrees. The next day I walked my son to school with freezing-hail-snow bouncing off the sidewalk like styrofoam. Nature has to undergo such a dramatic transformation to get from freezing temperatures to green summer days. It isn't always a graceful transition, but it is an awe-inspiring one.

Waterfall Abstract

You'll be seeing some exciting new things in the shop later this month, as Lindsay wraps up creation of a brand new collection, coming late this month. She's created some really beautiful and meaningful new pieces that we can't wait to share with you.

In the meantime, our art director Laura curated some perennial favorites for this winter-to-spring transition. I asked the team if they'd each share their current favorite from the Spring Picks Collection, which I've been scattering through this email.

The piece I'm feeling most for this Spring is Lindsay's Little White Barn Abstract II (two above). Laura's selection (above) is Waterfall Abstract. Beth's is Bouquet Abstract and Melissa's is Milk & Honey (pictured together below).

Bouquet Abstract

I put Lindsay's pick at the top of this email: Rosie Horizon Abstract. Isn't it an amazing piece? It fills me with a sense of calm anticipation. There's a beautiful story behind it, too, which you can read in the "about" dropdown in the product listing.

We hope you enjoy browsing the Spring Picks Collection and finding something to freshen your space for the new season.

We don't have any control over how many snowfalls are left or what the sun is doing day-to-day—or really over much of anything, really. But we do have control over what we put on our walls, and we really believe in the impact that art can have on our hearts, minds, and well-being.

xo,
The LL Team
20 Feb 2020

Please Pray for Lindsay

*This post was originally an email on February 20, 2020.*

Hello, LL Community,

My heart is very heavy (both with sadness and hope) as I write this.

For any of you who don't yet know: last week, Lindsay and Dugan left on a much-needed, well-deserved vacation to Mexico.

On Sunday the 16th of February, less than 24 hours into the trip, Lindsay was suddenly struck with severe stomach pains and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Doctors determined that she had kidney stones and an infection, and she stayed the evening in their care. After consulting with a doctor they know and trust, Lindsay and Dugan flew back to the States the next day. 

Upon landing in Chicago on Monday evening, Lindsay was taken to a hospital in the area. Tests showed the infection had spread throughout her body, and she underwent surgery to drain the infected fluids from her kidneys. She's been in the ICU under sedation since, as the medical team waits for her numbers to stabilize.

This morning I got a fuller update from her good friends Ashley and Randi (a nurse), who said that Lindsay's numbers are trending in the right direction, that the infection is now under control, and that—barring anything truly shocking and unusual—her life isn't in danger anymore. At this point it's a matter of letting her rest, continuing the antibiotics and other treatments, assessing any long-term damage, and weaning her off the sedation.

There is much we're thankful for. We're thankful for a very qualified team of specialists who know what is going on and are confident that they are providing the right treatment plan. We're thankful that Lindsay is otherwise healthy, which means that her body should continue to respond to treatment and make a full recovery. 

But we are, of course, extremely sad that this happened at all. It stings all the more that it happened while she was far from home and trying to relax and restore. 

As her team, we know our role right now is to continue to serve her business. We're taking a pause on some projects and initiatives, and the social media accounts will be quiet for a while (save for updates on Lindsay). But we're very much at work behind the scenes. Orders will be fulfilled, customer service emails will be answered.

As we have been for months, we're grateful to be in the position to serve her customers which—in turn—serves Dugan and Lindsay and their family. 

A few weeks ago, Lindsay lettered this quote from Frederich Buechner:

"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid."

This piece was scheduled to be released with the rest of Lindsay's beautiful new Spring collection, but you might see it in the shop a little sooner. They're words we personally want in front of us as we pray, process, and wait—fully confident that beauty will have the final word in this situation.

The rest of that quote goes: 

"The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are, because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us ... I love you. There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you'll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too."

With love & gratitude,

Joy & Team

P.S. We'll do our best to keep everyone updated, but you can follow Dugan on Instagram for the most up-to-date updates.

26 Nov 2019

Gift Guides Holiday 2019

Make a list, check it twice; get them the toy, the doo-dad, the gadget. But then top it all off with a meaningful, heirloom-quality piece of art that will add beauty and inspiration to their lives for years to come! We've carefully curated our top 12 suggestions for all the worthy people on your list!

xoxo, The LL Team

Gift Guides for Your Folks Holiday 2019Gift Guide for Your Mr Holiday 2019Gift Guide for Your Kiddos Holiday 2019Gift Guide for Your Critics Holiday 2019Gift Guide for Your Squad Holiday 2019Gift Guide for Your Scholar Holiday 2019Gift Guide For Yourself Holiday 2019

14 Nov 2019

🌵"Wild one, you will never go alone."

We have two VIP birthdays in the LL community this week. 

Tomorrow is Eva's birthday, and Sunday is brother Phoenix's birthday. 

As anyone who has suffered knows, celebrating in the midst of grief is bittersweet, bringing both joy and pain into sharper focus. The gap between what is and what should be feels deeper during holidays and milestones. 

But I am wishing little Phoenix all the fun and happiness in the world on his birthday, even though I know he'll miss his beloved big sister so very much.

And for Eva, I am praying a pervading sense of well-being (Dallas Willard's definition of "joy") over her today, tomorrow, and in the days to come.

Friends, Eva is in such a rough part of the healing journey right now. If you follow Dugan on Instagram, you've seen the photos and videos of what's happening in this stage: crying, "posturing," "storming." It's draining and stressful and heart-breaking. It's so very physical and human and hard. 

But I am praying, with everything in me, that deep down—deeper than whatever process her body is taking her through in this brutal path of emerging consciousness—Eva is secure in what's true: that she is protected, that she is held, and that she is so very loved.

Eva and Phoenix

Team LL has been thinking ahead about how to mark this important week with you, the Lindsay Letters community.

Most of you will be familiar with "Rainbow Daydream," which Lindsay drew a couple of years ago as an artistic imagining of what Eva's dreams look like. It's become the most well-loved piece of art in the LL shop for 2019—and for such good, beautiful reason.

Rainbow Daydream

INTRODUCING...

Today we're revealing two new, special pieces that Lindsay created several weeks ago, that we've been anxiously waiting until this week to share.

Introducing the new sibling pieces to "Rainbow Daydream," available now in the Eva Love Collection: "Adventure Daydream" and "Wild Daydream."

Adventure Daydream

"Adventure Daydream" (above) features pirate ships, lightning bolts, dinosaurs, volcanos, planets, and a friendly little campfire—the stuff of an adventurous kid's imagination. We love the invitation bursting from the background ("explore everything!") and the bubble of encouragement ("be brave, be bold"). Lindsay created this one to celebrate Phoenix Brave and brave little kids everywhere. (My son got a sneak peek of it and said: "I WANT THAT IN MY ROOM.")

Wild Daydream

And then: "Wild Daydream." 

I know the world is good because it has you.

Wild one, remember... you will never go alone. 

These words are nestled in a whimsical, visual symphony of rainbows, cacti, swings rocking in the wind, and music notes. Lindsay designed it with both of her children (and sophisticated, neutral rooms) in mind, but I know these words are straight from her heart to Eva in this season. All of the Daydreams pieces capture something ineffable, but this one has my heart right now.

Wild Daydream detailed shot

Thank you for honoring this meaningful week with us, and thank you for your continued, faithful prayers for Eva, Phoenix, the entire Sherbondy family, and the Lindsay Letters team. It means more than you know!

xoxo,
Joy and the LL Team
23 Sep 2019

🦄 Eva, Art, Beauty, Miracles.

Here we are, one month later, waiting and praying for Eva Love, who remains at the hospital in a sometimes-wakeful but still "powered down" state (as Lindsay describes it)—resting, restoring, and demonstrating incredible progress.

Eva Love

Lindsay recently shared a series of Instagram stories with answers to FAQs about Eva's injury, which I'll summarize here.

On August 22, Eva fell off the back of a golf cart in her neighborhood. There is no explanation as to why she fell. No wild turns or sudden bumps. She just tipped off, and apparently didn't or couldn't protect her head in the fall. The idea that another factor was at play has certainly been considered. An aneurysm would have shown up on a CT scan; however, any of the strokes that showed up on her scan could have happened pre-fall.

For a little girl who ran, twirled, and skipped her way through life, it does seem strange that she landed so severely. Whenever I (Joy) have been around Eva, I've always marveled at how sure of herself she is. How quick and steady on her ever-moving feet.

Eva leaping off a balance beam

Eva on a Swing

Her exact injury was a severe ischemic brain injury secondary to herniation. Upon arrival at the ER, she had a procedure to remove part of her skull to allow room for swelling. At one point in the days that followed, her ICP (internal cranial pressure) numbers rose to 62. The highest the medical staff at that hospital had ever seen was 40. It's a miracle that she is still alive. 

On September 6th, Eva was successfully extubated and—to the surprise of her doctors—began breathing on her own, without needing a replacement tube or tracheotomy. It's a miracle that she can breathe. 

Eva continues to make improvements that far outpace what her doctors thought possible. Lindsay writes:

My husband Dugan and I have believed God and prayed for an incredible miracle since the beginning, and we will not stop. The process is slower than we would like, but there are already surprises and progress more so than the doctors ever thought possible. She is coming back to us. Coming back from the worst brain injury the unit has ever seen. Slow and sure. We feel confident God is in this, especially because God allowed for continued brain activity. He allowed Eva to breate on her own. God and Eva decided to take on this fight, and we get a front row seat to watch His miracle at work. 

And so here we are, one month later, sitting in the front row that Dugan and Lindsay have generously and vulnerably saved for all of us. Praying with them. Hoping with them. Waiting in this "eternal now" with them.

As is Lucy, Eva's beloved dog. Lindsay took this first picture just a few hours before the accident.

Eva and Lucy

Eva and Lucy in hospital bed

As Dugan and Lindsay continue to spend days and nights at the hospital, the Lindsay Letters team continues at work, grateful for this opportunity to continue stewarding the Sherbondys' small business while they focus on their family. This part, running the business, is a true pleasure, because we all believe that Lindsay's art is an important gift to the world, and we continue to hear stories of how her art has comforted and inspired others in the difficult, messy, and even brutal moments of their lives as well. 

Like Lindsay wrote in her "About" page: 

Art isn't only for rich people or fancy people or bloggers. Art isn't the icing on the cake for when everything else in your life is perfect. Art matters – what you surround yourself with every day matters. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I know the positive impact art can have first-hand, and I can say with confidence that what you put on the four walls you stare at most can be a real game-changer. You are worthy of meaningful art, and I would be so honored if the special pieces you decide to invest in would be some of mine!

Rainbow Daydream Canvas

Rainbow Daydream Print

Shortly after we curated The Eva Love collection, I asked Laura if I could send her some of the pieces to photograph, to show them some extra honor and love. 

Laura went above and beyond what I could have imagined, and the results are truly incredible. It gives me so much joy to see Lindsay's work celebrated this thoughtfully and beautifully. It's art within art, really! Even if you've shopped the collection already, I think you'll love going back and seeing the new images. 

There are also a couple of additions to the collection! Like "Great Big World," which reads: There is a GREAT BIG WORLD out there, just waiting to be loved by you. 

(You might wonder how we could have missed this one until now, but Lindsay is an extremely prolific artist. There are so many to choose from!) 

Great Big World

"Great Big World" canvas in Perfect Peach, framed in Gallery White

The verse in this "Be Brave" canvas is Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Lindsay wrote in the description:

I have always wanted to live a brave life – of trust and adventure and not of fear. But these words and this scripture took on a whole new meaning once I became a parent. I pray this scripture over Eva all the time, and I hope it strikes a chord in you as well.

"Hello Sweet Beautiful Girl" in a nursery

Love, Imagine, Play, Repeat

Before you go take a look, here are a couple more LL updates:

- Per tradition, the brand new holiday collection (as well as timeless Christmas favorites) will launch the night of October 31 (Halloween night). Mark your calendar! Holiday is always the highlight of the year at LL, but this year is very special and personal, as Lindsay painted pieces for it in stolen moments at the hospital. And we're photographing it in her own home, for the first time. Laura and I both arrive in Sun Prairie tomorrow and she'll be shooting through Thursday. I'll be sure to share some behind-the-scenes of the shoot, so watch your stories in the next couple of days. 

In addition to some changes to the Eva Love Collection, I've featured a few more of Lindsay's pieces in both Abstract Art and Lettered Art — including the "God is Stronger" lettered piece that I referenced in the first update after the accident. 

This was an especially long newsletter, but there was a lot to share! Thank you for reading! Please know I'm organizing and passing along the emails I've received for Dugan and Lindsay. And if there's anything we can help with regarding an order, please always reach out. We always love the opportunity to serve Lindsay's lovely customers!

With Love,

Joy & the LL Team