rwanda, jen hatmaker & a noonday sample sale

one year ago this very week i boarded a plane heading for africa. i am still humbled every single time i think about that opportunity. every single time.

essentially our team headed over & spent several days with artisans living in rwanda who sew & create several of the pieces Noonday Collection has carried the last couple years. even today i sit here & struggle to write in a blog post what those 10 days did to my heart. ( you can view some of my blog posts & some from the team as well through this link)

i must tell you, not a week goes by where i fail to ponder on that week….the women, their joy despite their circumstances-their bravery-their hospitality-their laughter. the beauty of the country, visiting an orphanage, contemplating the genocide, sharing stories with some amazing women that honestly i’m humbled to call real life friends, rooming with my sweet friend emily, praying together-many times, sharing meals on a front porch…i miss it. i do. i miss that week. and to be even more honest, i’m preparing to send another kiddo to college in 40 days & if i really let my heart go there today combined with that fact i might not recover. so i’m just going to say thoughts about my time in rwanda leave my heart very, very tender.

i remember one day riding the bus listening to jen ( cracking up & trying not to pee in my pants because she’s even funnier live!) share a little about her upcoming book which just so happens to release the same week noonday will launch our new fall line–august 6th! jen is a huge supporter of all things noonday & honestly she does a better job explaining my job as an ambassador better than i do!

so here’s a couple things i wanna share with you guys~

~ yes! noonday collection fall launch is coming your way august 6th!!

~if you’re local i’d love to partner with you and bring noonday to your home. together we can share the heart & stories behind the amazing jewelry! parties are nothing to get all stressed out about and truly so much fun. please reach out & shoot me an email if you’re interested in a trunk show. we’ll be knee deep in the crazy of fall before you know it so let’s get something on the calendar before all the crazy. email me at

~mark your calendars for August 6-13, because anyone who hosts a Noonday Trunk Show during those days gets an advanced copy of For the Love  ( jen’s new book) and exclusive new bracelet! jen asked noonday to design an exclusive piece for her, a beautiful leather wrap bracelet handmade by our artisan partners in Haiti. with the purchase of every bracelet $5 will be donated to Help One Now, an organization committed to empowering local leaders who care for orphans and vulnerable children in Haiti and beyond. sister, this means you help create economic opportunity in vulnerable countries with each noonday purchase as well as supporting Help One Now and their work in Haiti. win. win. win. win. win. win.

~i will post my sample sale later this week right here on the blog. these usually go pretty fast so please check back in early wednesday morning!

samples will be listed here later this week!

a peek at jen’s book & super fun leather wrap bracelet made by artisans in haiti!


July 7, 2015 - 6:17 pm

summer noonday sample sale » simple thoughts from Paige Knudsen Photography - […] room for some eagerly anticipated fall pieces…which will launch in less than 30 days!! see previous post for fun […]

she graduates

there are a handful of events, big ones actually, that occurred primarily back in may that i haven’t blogged about yet.  i’ll be honest, i think this past spring was the most FULL season we’ve had as a family. all good things but big a lot of things none the less. the month of may for the school calendar is chock full of deadlines. the month of may for the social calendar is often times chock full of weddings and graduations ( & all the events tagged along with that). and thankfully a lot of folks wanted photos those couple of months!

this past may we celebrated savannah graduating from college, emily graduating from high school and caroline graduating from middle school! i realize it’s so crazy cliche but my goodness, is life but a blink or is life but a blink?

after we left one of emily’s celebrations she mentioned she was surprised i wasn’t all teary. my answer….healthy denial. this ain’t my first rodeo and i am well aware that move-in day in august ( it’ll be here in 40 days–she’s got a countdown app on her phone thankyouverymuch) is right around the corner. and move-in day is followed by a season of yet another shift in our family dynamics. the first go around about took me out. maybe some folks are mentally able to prepare for sending children out of the nest, but for me, i had no idea how absolutely hard it really was going to be. not to start a heavy subject  & then leave you hanging, but i’ll come back to this in a few weeks and share a little more of my heart. but on that particular day i told emi, i’m just enjoying all the fun and celebration. and while august is indeed full of fun and celebration, it is tough on a mama’s heart. so i’ve mentally closed that little door on my heart for now and it’ll open on it’s own in something around 40 days.

the evening emily graduated from high school, several of her sweet friends headed over to our home for a few photos. then all our family-mimi & poppy, aunt cindy & uncle corey, all our crew & yes, sweet bailey headed over to the graduation event. it was so fun for my older girls to sit on this side of viewing the graduation process!

dan & i are SO proud of our emily! she worked her tail off the last year in hopes of being accepted to UGA, all while being involved in many clubs & organizations. emily’s acceptance to UGA was the lifelong dream of her heart! so yes, sweet em, we cheer you on & celebrate YOU as you successfully wrap up this chapter of your life and prepare to walk into what i’m betting will be the most amazing four years of your life!! we love you & will always be here cheering you on!!

one last thing i want to mention, especially to you sweet younger mamas,  is how very important it is for your children to have mentors in their lives. i grew up blessed to have women pour into me all throughout my teen years & especially into my young 20’s. i realize many times these relationships form organically and sometimes you just gotta get out there and help cultivate them yourself. i do not consider it lightly that my girls have each been blessed with relationships such as this. meaghan & benton are the high school leaders at our church & we are immensely thankful for both of them. emily absolutely ADORES meaghan. her steady, strong & quiet spirit has been a lighthouse to emi the last couple years.  meaghan words can’t thank you enough for loving on & just being a true friend to our girl!

July 3, 2015 - 10:14 am

Lisa Mothersead - Congrats to your daughter and wishing her great success in the years ahead! My family is also celebrating this week. The Supreme Court ruling means my lovely, caring gay Christian little brother can now be legally married. This was a wonderful week not just for us, but for the wonderful country we all celebrate!

July 3, 2015 - 1:02 pm

KittyLuvr - A very impressive set of cords and medal adorning Emi! Would you share what some of those were for? No doubt they were a big factor in her acceptance at UGA! Congrats on a beautiful (inside and out) daughter celebrating her achievements and those of her friends.

July 3, 2015 - 9:09 pm

Andrea - Congratulations Emi….it’s been a pleasure watching you grow up on your momma’s blog….I can’t wait to see what the next four years brings for you!!!!! Congrats on UGA….wow!

July 4, 2015 - 9:27 am

Donna - Your family is precious. I know how proud you must be. They grow up way too fast!

July 4, 2015 - 1:41 pm

Rebecca - I am sitting here with my eyes watering looking at the girls. They have grown up so much and so fast as have my two children. It is truly a blink, Paige. With that being said how proud you must be of Emi and I am so happy that she is going to UGA!!! Good for her. I know she will make a wonderful teacher.