Favorite item in home: I think right now it’s my china cabinet. I waited for so long to get it! We moved in to the space above Joe Sippers as a temporary living situation which turned into 9 wonderful years. While we lived there it just didn’t make sense to purchase such a huge piece of furniture that would have to one day be moved down a flight of stairs. So after we moved in to our new home that was the first big purchase for the house we made! I loved finally unpacking boxes of keepsakes from my grandmas and great-aunts from over the years, pieces I purchased that have special meaning, and wedding gifts that need a safe home!
What I am reading: I have so many books on my shelf that I have started and never finished! So I could technically say that I am reading a ton right now since they are all still in process! Ha! But in reality, finding time to read is not always a high priority compared to everything else going on with the kids and life. That said, my grandma passed away back in October and my mom and aunt both were reading this book Imagine Heaven by John Burke and kept telling me all about it. So I ordered one for myself and started reading it around the time I should have been focusing on ending the semester with my classes, getting ready for Christmas, hosting a Christmas, etc! It’s so amazingly good that I had to force myself to focus on things I needed to get done instead of reading this book! Simply put it’s about people’s near death experiences and how they line up with what Scripture tells us about Heaven/Hell and what happens after we experience an earthly death. John Burke shares story after story with his commentary throughout- linking the many, many commonalities of them despite age, religion, demographic location, type of death, etc. It has been such a great book- things I knew the Bible says about Heaven and Hell, but giving them such a deeper and new meaning! Heaven is going to be so incredible! And I’m almost done reading it so I think it’ll be one I actually get to finish!
What I am listening to: Since Thanksgiving it’s been straight Christmas music of all kinds and genres! But now that that time is past it’s back to my Pandora stations of Kari Jobe and Lauren Daigle. Lauren’s voice is amazing! When no one is around I like to sing with her as if my voice is that amazing and powerful! Haha!! I love both these ladies’ songs that feed my soul while I’m cleaning the mundane kitchen! I also have my station of folk music when I needing to add some chill to the chaos of the house! Kevin’s playlist is entirely different! Lol!
Best food in town: Well...I know of this coffee shop in the downtown area...Joe Sippers...I really do love our food there. We’ve learned a lot and come a long way since our opening almost 12 years ago! I love that we source local foods, use simple ingredients, and make things from scratch as much as we can. But we love to get away too! We always enjoy our dates at the Firefly Grill when we can get there!
Favorite thing about Effingham: I love the small town feel. I’m from the city of Peoria and love all things big city, but I have learned the good that small can offer. I love that some of the people at IGA know me and ask where my kids are when I’m there without them! I love that the produce man gave us a HUGE cardboard crate for my kids to turn into a playhouse or boat or hideout or whatever they wanted before destroying it! I love that my kids have had amazing teachers who love the Lord and go above and beyond the call of teacherhood to make each day at school special. I love that our community is so giving and seems to rally around those who are needing help or support. I love that our community celebrates the simple.
Wild card question... What would you like people to know about you? Hmmm...this question is hard to answer! So many routes I could take it! I guess I would hope that people know that our faith and belief in God permeates every fiber of our lives at home and at work. We’re not perfect by any means, but that’s the beauty of grace. We’re in a season of life where we often say that parenting is not for the faint at heart and we question our efforts so far! We’re often surprised by the kids “creative” ideas to fill their free time, which generally leaves Kevin in fix-it mode! Our kids really are amazing and bring us such joy... I know this season is quickly passing by. Family time is important to me/us and we are fortunate that we don’t have too many sports or activities to contend with that. When deciding how to decorate our home the word that was on my mind was peace. I want our home to be a place where people feel welcome and feel a sense of peace and rest. My love for color and texture patterns everywhere and the noise of 4 kids enjoying life may set that off a bit, but I’m trying! Other random tid-bits of me... I love to cook from scratch as much as I can. I’m not a fan of baking though! Kevin usually does that! I love air-popped popcorn and eat a bowl of it just about every night! I have pinned so many things on Pinterest- it’s finding the time to make them that I struggle with! I can be long-winded (obviously) and love to talk and get together with friends. I’ll stop at that! Invite me to lunch sometime and I can tell you more! (Shameless plug for girl-time!)
Smitten. That’s how I’d describe the feeling I got when I walked into the Kevin and Christy Hiatt home. And that’s no surprise considering how many meaningful vintage and handmade items they have in their home.
If you’ve spent any time at all in Effingham, IL then you more than likely have stopped in at Joe Sippers Café – Effingham’s local source for specialty coffee and café cuisine. The Café was the Hiatt’s brainchild in 2005 after Kevin graduated from Greenville College having majored in art focusing on graphic design.
Christy and Kevin were leading a high school youth group at the church they were attending and Kevin was working at Dust & Sons and trying to figure out a direction for their lives. At the same time he thought Effingham could benefit from an all-ages community hub. After much praying and guidance seeking they started the process of writing a business plan and searching for a location. They were in their first year of marriage and both 25 years old when Joe Sippers Café opened
It is THE place to go to meet a friend, grab a bite made from locally sourced ingredients or a bag of their own roasted coffee beans. It’s located in downtown Effingham inside an old two-story brick building and the inside is an eclectic mix of vintage and handmade furnishings. They rotate the local artwork on the walls and they’ve even got a teal (yes, teal) roaster in the back.
Knowing the vibe in Joe Sippers and knowing that Christy is an art teacher at St. Anthony’s High School and Kevin and his family have mad/ingenious woodworking skillz, I was anxious to see their home.
The Hiatt home is nestled in an older part of the Community Park subdivision referred to as Kralman Subdivision and their home was built in 1967. The home’s curb appeal is boosted by the presence of Kevin’s vintage Jeep Grand Wagoneer. It is a thing I not so secretly covet.
It turns out that, just like the Café, the contents of the Kevin and Christy Hiatt home consist of a healthy dose of artful, repurposed and vintage heirloom pieces with a smattering of Ikea. And as you’ll see, this home revolves around their four kids – Charlie (8), Eli (7), and twins Clara and Anna (4). We have chosen family-friendly homes for our January issues as we’re launching an affordable line of kids home décor and goodies at Fresh Digs on January 6. Behold the children’s spaces of the Hiatt home!
Twins, Anna and Clara share a room which just so happened to have come already papered with a very fabulous wallpaper. Anna’s favorite thing in her room is the baby bed that was Christy’s when she was three years old. Clara’s favorite thing is her mirror because she likes to look in it.
Up until sixteen months ago the Hiatt family, all six of them, resided in the apartment above the Café. You can only imagine their desire to get away from work and have a yard for the kids to play in.
However, with a finished basement, they have plenty of room to play indoors. Luckily for them the previous owners, Jim and Leigh Hammer, refinished the basement. An entertainment area, a guest room, bathroom, a Lego station and the boys all live downstairs.
Going behind the scenes with the owners of Joe Sippers Café has given us all yet another reason to love this local downtown business. Learning about the provenance of the place, seeing the love for their children, each other and God in their home plus their ability to create endears them all to us just a little bit more. Thank you Hiatt family for letting us in.
//Next issue: The Aaron and Monica Stortzum home – Another Special Kids Edition
About the Photographer
Tytia Habing is an award-winning and highly regarded fine art, family and commercial photographer based in the Effingham, Illinois area. You can see her work at tytiahabingphotography.com.
About Fresh Digs
We are pleased to announce the launch of Lil Digs and Gus* Modern furniture. Join us this Friday for our After Hours Launch Party from 5 to 8 p.m. Through January 31st all Gus* orders are 15% off.