As you’ve likely read elsewhere on this website or on our our social media, our business name – Harmonie House Images – is in part a nod to how we met singing and harmonizing together on our church’s worship team. However, inclusion of the word “harmony” in our business name is also a nod to how we want to interact and collaborate with our clients. Harmony is a pleasing arrangement of parts. In music it is the layering of multiple parts and notes into a single work of art. It is an interweaving of different accounts into a single narrative. We want to layer and interweave our gifts with those of our clients to create a singular work of art (in the form of brand imagery) that showcases both the business and the woman behind the business.

Just like what we want to do for our clients, here we want to showcase our work and help you get to know us – Miranda and Lori Ellen – the women behind Harmonie House Images.

One synonym for “harmony” is “peace.” So, each month, we will spend a little time here discussing what is bringing harmony, or peace, in the form of beauty, delight, structure, or design to our individual lives as women.

So without further adieu…

I, Lori Ellen, am a creature of habit. We when talk about beauty, delight, structure, and design what delights me most is structure. I am a lover of routines, calendars, and goal planning. I never, and I mean NEVER, met a list that I didn’t like. I find that I am more free to be creative within structured boundaries.

The other side of that coin is that when life doesn’t move exactly according to my carefully crafted, color-coded plan, I can quickly start to feel as if everything is chaos and that the whole world is falling apart. Then I start getting ALL WORKED UP trying to force things back into order.

After casually discussing it for months, in early June my husband and I suddenly felt as if the time was right to sell our home of 14 years and move on to a new chapter in our home life. Enter chaos in the form of prepping our house for sale, listing, showing, being under contract in 2 days, finding a new place to live, closing, moving, and settling into our new apartment. Start to finish, the process took just under 3 months, but in my soul it felt like 3 yrs. Oh, and in the midst of all that, Miranda and I officially launched Harmonie House Images into the world!

My husband and I decided to rent an apartment, in part, because our house sold way too quickly for us to also go through the process of finding and purchasing our next home at the same time. We intend for our next home will be our forever home and really want to take our time finding it. Also, we are exhausted after the flurry of activity with the last few months. We needed a break and I needed a return to routine.

We found a lovely apartment that, honestly, we aren’t interested in leaving any time soon. It came with a 9×15 patio. Before moving in, we thought this was a nice feature but it certainly wasn’t on our list of “must haves” when we were apartment shopping. Our previous home was a townhome that had community outdoor space, but no little outdoor area that was just for us. We had lived there so long that we had forgotten how nice it is to have a lovely little outdoor oasis.

Within a week of moving in we ordered patio furniture and I filled the space with lovely plants and twinkle lights. It has quickly become our favorite space in our apartment. We sit on the patio and talk for at least an hour each evening. We have coffee together out there on lazy weekend mornings. Our sweet pup, Stella Grace, regularly “asks” to go sit out there by standing and staring out the window.

With completion of our move and the unpacking of boxes, I’m finally settling back into my beloved routines…and all is starting to feel right with the world again.

I’ve been using the same planner, the Daily Simplified Planner by Simplified, for years now. The company’s founder Emily Ley talks about how the pages of the planner are created intentionally with lots of white space to encourage the women who use the planners to keep “white space” and margin their daily lives…to avoid filling every minute of every day with “busyness” that isn’t life-giving…to make time for what matters.

As I mentioned before, I am a list maker and goal setter. I’m an over-achieving first born. I’m an Enneagram 8 who is always thinking about the next thing to do. I think fast, talk fast, react fast, and move fast. I don’t come by “slow” naturally. Yet, time and time again, I learn that I’m more at peace when I intentionally slow down, work to be present in the moment, and make time for what matters.

And this little patio…it calls to me. It beckons me to sit, think, breathe, listen, and pray. I keep listening to that invitation and the still, small voice inside encouraging me to slow down. As a result, I’ve spent at least an hour sitting on the patio every day for the last month. Each time I do, no matter how hectic the rest of the day has been or will be, my heart rate slows and my shoulders relax just a little bit more.

So that’s it. This sweet little patio is one thing bringing harmony and peace back into my life right now. What about you? What is one thing, however big or small, that is bringing harmony to your life in this season?