A few weeks ago we held the “Inspired Evening at the Barn” event as a fundraiser for our adoption, and it was one of the most special nights I’ve experienced! This event was on my heart and in my head for 3-4 years, but when I first thought of it, I didn’t realize that it would be a fundraiser for us. I just knew that I wanted to host an event that inspired and blessed other women.

I had so much fun putting all the details together! My sisters-in-law Andrea and Heather and my friend Wanda Graham were my team who helped plan and execute everything, and I couldn’t have done it without them! Over 200 people attended, which blew me away.

I’ll just share some (many!) photos of the night and give some details in case you’re interested…

2007 The event would not have taken place if the Stoltzfus Homestead hadn’t agreed to let us use their BEAUTIFUL new barn. They just recently turned the barn into a wedding/event venue, and they were so amazing to work with!2008 2012 2016 2022 2023 2033 2037 2039 2045 2053 Guests were greeted by my friends Chandra and Megan who took their names, and then they were entered into a giveaway to win one of my signs.20522058 2066 2068 2077 2080 2084 I literally just shopped my house for decorations to use in the barn and kept it pretty simple. Old books, antique scales, garden ornaments, blue Mason jars, and white hydrangeas from my flower beds were the centerpieces.

I also was able to use decorations from my friend Caroline Lindsley who has a wedding rental business.2085 2087 I created a “Marketplace” in the corner of the barn. We sold my t-shirts, jewelry from O’Jolie Designs and Pearls ‘n Joy and framed watercolors that I painted.2092 2093 My friends Beth and Liz were in charge of the marketplace.2104 2119 2125 2132 2134 We also had some items donated that were part of a silent auction.2141 2140 And, the food. Oh, the food. I chose to have some of my favorite things. Popcorn in inexpensive berry baskets on the tables for guests to much on when they arrived, fruit pizza, veggies and dip, cucumber sandwiches, and pressed picnic sandwiches.2151 2152 2153 2154 2158 2159 2163 I bought these 5×7 kraft bags and printed the wording onto them using my home printer. Easy and really cute! They were favor bags filled with cookies for the guests to take home.2176 2180 2182 2188 My sister-in-law Andrea was the host for the evening, and she did an awesome job!2193 I asked three really special ladies to share inspirational ideas on three different topics: the home, the kitchen, and the garden.

Janelle Stoltzfus spoke first and her topic was the home. I can’t think of anyone else who is more passionate about creating a home that feels special. She is pure love and you can just feel it when you’re around her! 2197 2199 2194Next, Wanda Graham (who is the queen of all things homemade) gave us some creative ideas to use in the kitchen.2202 2209 2211 In between each speaker, we had a drawing for guests to win one of my signs.2226 2240 And then there were cupcakes! Lemon Raspberry. So yummy and refreshing for a hot summer day!2250 2253 2259 Our next speaker was Jul Hoober who is an expert on creating beautiful bouquets using flowers from her home garden. She gave lots of great tips on flower gardening. She is such an inspirational lady and made me want to go home and dig in the garden!2270 2272 I was so honored that all three ladies agreed to speak at the event!They did a phenomenal job and I’m so thankful for them.2277 And then it was my turn (cue stomach churning and sweaty hands). I talked about our adoption journey, how we arrived at the decision to adopt, and where we are at in the process.2280 2285And now it feels like it was a dream. We felt so LOVED and supported by everyone who came, and in the end, we raised over $10,000!! It takes care of a large chunk of our adoption expenses and we were so blessed by not only the financial help but by all the encouragement we received. It’s been amazing.

THANK YOU to everyone who helped with the evening and for coming and supporting us! And thank you to my friend Kelly Smoker who took the photos for us. What an awesome night that was.



July 17, 2014 — Aimee Weaver