The short of it:
Favorite item in home: I personally love the bar cart. But by far our favorite room in the house is our bedroom. All of our fun things in one place and with 2 teenagers and their friends hanging around we find ourselves "hiding out" there a lot reading and watching movies.
What I am reading: I'm currently reading Chris Bohjalian’s new book The Sleepwalker. It's twisty, turny and creepy! I love it. I'll have it done by tomorrow so who knows what I'll pick up next...Probably one from the library that needs to be returned soon! My to be read pile is very tall! Aaron doesn't read! He's never read a book in its entirety.
What I am listening to: I am loving the Avett Brothers. Aaron listens to literally everything. From Billy Squire to Iron Maiden and everything in between.
Best food in town: We like Cruisers cheeseburgers for sure! It's a special treat. Last summer we "treated" ourselves so many times we had to cut back!
Favorite thing about Effingham: We love the small town feel with awesome shopping and plenty of fun to be had! We love the local art and music scene and the wonderful friends we've made.
Wild card question... What do you want people to know about you?: We love each other more today than we ever have!
The long of it:
^^ I’m moving the furniture around this month. Going to try something new – get to know the family in words up top and in pictures below. Let me know what you think. ^^
So I think the blog gods were on my side this month in that I found not one but two couples who seem to have this whole marriage thing figured out, which is very fitting for the month of love. Allow me to introduce you to the Aaron America and Brianne (Miss America, of course) Wilson family.
These lovebirds have been together since they were in high school and they’re one of those couples who people said would never make it. They sure showed them. Having gotten to know them over the past few years I believe one of the keys to their marital happiness is their ability to let each other be who they are as individuals. He is OUT THERE with his vintage pop culture collecting habits and weird Facebook-posting ways and there she is quietly cranking out gourmet meals and baked goods all while having her head in a book. They meet in the middle at the thrift store.
Bri and Aaron have a shared interest in searching for treasures at thrift stores. I regularly encounter these two out thrifting together. But they’ve also got their own things going on. Bri is a mad reader. She averages 60 books a year (wait until you see their bedroom). When we did the photo shoot for this issue she was reading the fiction trilogy, One Second After. And Aaron has his Beat Lab – the little building in their backyard which I’m going to save for a complete other What’s Inside issue. Stay tuned. You won’t want to miss it.
In addition to playing in his band, Position 12?, Aaron opened his dream business, America’s Groove Record Store, in the Village Square Mall over a year ago. Hands down my favorite store in Effingham – think everything from new and used vinyl records, CDs, cassette tapes and record players to vintage men’s clothes, 80s pins and toys, vintage kids’ books, locally made incense and art, candy cigarettes and now arcade games. And a billion other things you just need to go see/touch/hear/smell in person. Plus he’s getting ready to expand. It is an experience to be had. It’s a beautiful thing and I secretly think of this as my alter ego store.
Bri, in addition to being a nurse at the Surgery Center in Effingham, is his meticulous bookkeeper. This is where the slightly Type A/organized side of her personality shines and where she stresses. But don’t let that fool you, you can’t have a conversation with her and not leave feeling great about yourself, grinning from ear to ear and quite possibly feeling like maybe you too should include more curse words in your everyday conversations. She is awesome.
They’ve got two gorgeous kids at home, Hannah (20) and Eli (16). Hannah works at Family Video in Effingham and like her dad is a great painter and a total free spirit. Her bedroom is beyond boho. Bri admits that “Hannie” has got the best record player in the house in her room plus records from bands that Bri has never heard of (which officially means we’re old). You can encounter Eli rocking a fab hairdo as a checker at Martin’s IGA. He also rides a unicycle and has Type 1 diabetes. The type where you require insulin in order to stay alive. Ask Bri all about this life experience. You can find both of them shopping the thrift stores (separately) and working America’s Groove. Great kids. Great family.
The Wilson’s have rented their 1950s home on Cherry Street in Effingham for the past 11 years and their décor is ever changing and almost always thrifted. If it wasn’t gotten at a second-hand store it was found in a dumpster, purchased at Fresh Digs (Bri used to be our Saturday gal), handmade, given to them or gotten while on vacation. Bri has the wish of every renter in that she’d love to be able to paint the walls funky colors. I’d love to see that someday. Check out their style.
In the kitchen. Bri collects plates – some old, some new - and has them on display on a plate rail in her dining room. On her dining table she's got her vintage fondue pot and skewers and little stack of vintage restaurant ware plates. She is an avid baker and cook. In fact she welcomed Tytia and I into her home with freshly made muffins and coffee. Walking around her home with a warm muffin and cup of coffee in my hand added to the absolute charm of it all. Aaron is often posting pics of her culinary creations on his Facebook page. He also posts ridiculous stuff like a pic of him rocking out on his guitar superimposed in the Vatican. I love it. And consider yourself warned.
Like father like son. The two together collect Masters of the Universe action figures. And do you spy his pair of handmade felted wool slippers?
Now go and check out America’s Groove for yourself. Hope that Bri is there so you can ask her about the time she and her sister hit a couch while driving to see the Pioneer Woman in Oklahoma. Like hit a couch with their car. And then you’ll never want to leave because her personality and the little world Aaron has created will suck you in.
//Next issue: The Ricky and Josephine Gould Home - There will be cats and a whole bunch of handmade furniture.
Wait! One last thing... If you've incorporated something you've seen on this blog into your own home we'd love to see your pics. Post in the comments below or feel free to share to any of our social media outlets. I've picked up a few myself and will post them.
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 the Writer: Joanna Davies is co-owner of Fresh Digs in Effingham, IL. Fresh Digs sources locally, globally and uniquely made home goods and gifts and displays them in a shopping experience some have said is good for the soul. We also like to get people together. Join us.