SummerHouse, our favorite furniture boutique in Ridgeland, is hosting a Yard Party tomorrow, Thursday, June 30th!  Head to SummerHouse’s Township location anytime between 2pm and 8pm to enjoy tasty treats from local food trucks, chilled craft beer and incredible live music.  The Yard Party, co-presented by Ambiance Landscape, is a celebration of SummerHouse’s beautiful new line of private labeled outdoor furniture! 

The furniture store and design firm, owned by Jackson native Lisa Palmer, has partnered with a to-the-trade-only outdoor furniture company to create pieces just for SummerHouse. “We are so excited to finally have a private label of outdoor furniture. These pieces are unique, high quality, and beautiful! Our clients have been asking for something like this for a long time,” says Palmer. “We are also offering a 20% discount on all outdoor furniture orders taken the day of the event as a thank you to our wonderful customer base!”

While guests nosh on food and enjoy cool beverages, they can browse the incredible furniture line and learn more about the art of landscaping.  Spending time outdoors with friends and family is a wonderful part of life in Mississippi; this is the perfect excuse to spruce up your outdoor living spaces!   

SummerHouse’s Social Media Director, Laurel Donahoo, says, “This will be a fun event for the whole family to come enjoy! Not only will there be great food and drink, but it’ll be inspiring as far as getting your outdoor entertaining areas spruced up! With our typical Mississippi weather, beautiful outdoor spaces can be enjoyed well into the fall months, so it’s not too late to get some new outdoor furniture purchased and landscaping done!” 

We hope to see all of you at SummerHouse tomorrow

For more information about SummerHouse and the event, please visit www.summerhousestyle.com or call 601-853-4445. For more information about Ambiance Landscape, please visit www.ambiancelandscape.net or call 601-906-1540.

Photographs courtesy of SummerHouse include several of the private label pieces, as well as other outdoor pieces available at SummerHouse.
 
 
It all started with an enviable collection of cars.  David Sherer, a local car collector and businessman, had a handsome collection of vintage automobiles.  He began driving friends and families for weddings and special events.  Before he knew it, his lovely cars were in high demand, and Way Back in Time became the premier vintage automobile and limousine service in the state.  Over five years ago, Jeff Gordy joined Sherer as fleet manager, head driver and scheduler.  Gordy says, “Our primary cars are a white Rolls Royce, a maroon 1938 Packard, a black 1941 Cadillac Sedan and a black 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible.”  The automobiles are simply stunning and make the perfect entrance or exit for any wedding, special event or anniversary.  Gordy smiles, “Our cars have even been in recent movies!  The Cadillac has been in two films over the past two years: Get On Up (about James Brown) and a film in Canton that is still in production.  Our 1958 Impala starred in the hit movie The Help.”  

Every car at Way Back in Time makes a statement, whether you are in need of a vintage pickup truck or sleek Rolls Royce.  Sherer and Gordy are also a pleasure to work with, and will make sure the car perfectly fits your event!  The starting price on any car is $495, and all prices are listed on the Way Back in Time website. 

For more information on Way Back in Time, please visit their website here!  You can also call Jeff Gordy at 601.940.3805 with any questions.  Their impressive collection of automobiles can be viewed here

A special thank you to Caitlyn Sullivan Photography for capturing these fantastic photographs!
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
Last year, an extraordinary organization handed out almost $100,000 in scholarships to young women across the state.  Who awarded these talented women? The Miss Mississippi Pageant, of course!  The Miss America Corporation is the leading scholarship provider for women in the country.  The Miss Mississippi Corporation has led the country in the amount of scholarships provided for a number of years.

The Miss Mississippi contest began in 1934, and has been held in Vicksburg since 1958.  Remarkably, four Miss Mississippis have won the title of Miss America!

Tomorrow night, 44 beautiful, smart and talented contestants will dance, sing, promote their platforms, answer tough questions and show off their style throughout the competition.  Whether you are watching the magical evening live in Vicksburg or enjoying it from the comfort of your home, please join us in encouraging these young women! 

For more information on the Miss Mississippi Pageant, please visit their website here!  The video and photographs are courtesy of the Miss Mississippi Pageant website.
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
It is officially summer!  Today, we are thrilled to reveal our beautiful summer cover of Inspiration Mississippi Magazine!
Celebrate friendship and early summer's warm evenings with a dinner al fresco.  With the picturesque Barn at Bridlewood as a backdrop, we topped a handsome wooden table with flowers in bright hues of yellow, gold, pink and orange.  Guests were treated to a delectable menu of southern staples including Mississippi raised catfish and vegetables, fresh from the soil.  As friends mingled and laughed, the sun set over the farm, allowing a string of twinkling lights to glow above the intimate party.  What a perfect summer affair!

A special thank you to our vendors:

Venue:  The Barn at Bridlewood
Photography:  Adam + Alli Photography
Tablescape Rentals:  Pretty Presentations Rentals
Fresh Produce:  Two Dog Farms
Rentals:  Modern Revival Rentals
Hair & Make-Up:  Barnette's Salon
Men's Clothing:  Great Scott
Women's Clothing:  Bella Bridesmaids
Print Material:  Forrest Paper & Bridal Company
Florals & Styling:  Ginger Cook Event & Floral Design
Mississippi Food:  Georgia Blue & Livingston Mercantile
Women's Shoes:  Lauren Lorraine
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
Inspiration Mississippi is delighted to announce Ice Cream with Friends!
July is National Ice Cream Month, and we have proudly partnered with Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint to benefit Batson Children’s Hospital!

Kendall Poole Ellis, Founder of Inspiration Mississippi, smiles, “Batson Children’s Hospital has touched so many lives in our community.  We wanted to create a fun, friendly way to support all of the incredible heroes at Batson, from the brilliant doctors and nurses to the brave patients.  Ice Cream with Friends seemed like the perfect opportunity to join with Sal & Mookie’s and support Batson Children’s Hospital.”

With your help (and many helpings of delicious ice cream!), 15% of all "Batson Sundae" sales at Sal & Mookie’s will be donated to Children’s Hospital! A Kick-Off Party for Ice Cream with Friends will be held at Sal & Mookie’s on Friday, July 1 at 9:30am.  Sal & Mookie will be there along with kids from Batson Children’s Hospital.  We hope to see all of you there, enjoying tasty treats and supporting our incredible hospital and its precious patients!

To wrap up National Ice Cream Month and Ice Cream with Friends, Inspiration Mississippi, along with Sal & Mookie’s, will host an Ice Cream Party at Batson Children’s Hospital. The celebration will take place in Wiser Cafeteria on Thursday, July 28 at 2:30 pm.

We are working closely with the extraordinary team at Friends of Children’s Hospital, a nonprofit organization created to benefit Batson Children’s Hospital at The University of Mississippi Medical Center.  Batson is the only hospital in the state devoted exclusively to the care and treatment of sick and injured children.  The spectrum of care ranges from well-child care for healthy newborns to comprehensive care for cancer, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, allergies, diabetes and numerous other childhood illnesses.  We spoke with Elisha Bailey of Friends with Children’s Hospital, and are excited to share more about their inspiring work today:

Tell us more about Friends of Children’s Hospital “Friends of Children’s Hospital was created in 1989 by a group of dedicated members from around the state to raise funds and awareness for the state’s only children’s hospital.  The goal of Friends is to build a statewide base of community support in order to raise money for state-of-the-art equipment, facilities and services for all pediatric patients as well as the many specialized programs aimed at improving each child’s stay.  Through volunteer efforts and contributions, members of Friends help Batson Children’s Hospital in its fight against childhood disease and injury.” 

Why is Friends excited to participate in ice cream month with Inspiration Mississippi and Sal & Mookie's?  “We are always excited to join with great community partners that raise not only money for Batson Children’s Hospital but also awareness of all of the great things Batson is doing for the children in our state.”

Where will the money earned go?  Or how will it benefit the patients at Batson?The money will go to Friends of Children’s Hospital which directly benefits the patients at Batson. Friends assists in purchasing state-of-the art equipment, building facilities, and providing services for all pediatric patients. While we’re part of making the hospital state-of-the-art, we also take pride in being able to create a healing environment for the patients by decorating the hospital for Christmas, providing an on-demand entertainment system for every patient and ensuring activity rooms are fully stocked with craft supplies, toys and items to improve each patient’s hospital stay.” 

We will end Ice Cream with Friends with an ice cream party at Batson at the end of July!  Why will this be a special day for the patients at Batson?  “Who doesn’t love an ice cream party!? Friends of Children’s Hospital, Inspiration MS, and Sal & Mookie's will be hosting an ice cream party for the patients at the end of July. It will be a fun afternoon filled with music, face painting, games, and a visit from Mookie, Sal & Mookie’s mascot.

The patients are often cooped up in their rooms or their floor for days at a time and this gives them an opportunity to get out and be social and have fun. These kids are going through things that are so hard for most of us to imagine so anytime we can bring a smile to their face then it’s a good day!” 

What are some other ways people can support Batson?  “There are a ton of ways to get involved with Friends and help Batson! Check out our website at www.foch.org for details.”

Elisha adds,We appreciate Inspiration Mississippi and Sal & Mookie's for hosting this fundraiser. We are thrilled to be a part of it and we know that it will have a positive impact on the patients at Batson.”

For more information on Sal & Mookie’s, please visit their website here

A special thank you to Katelyn Anne Photography for capturing these beautiful photographs! 
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
We all know that Mississippi produces extraordinary talent.  Jaclyn Bethany, a native Mississippian, is pursuing her dreams of directing, acting and producing, with powerful results.  She has traveled around the world for her craft and recently impressed audiences at the Cannes Film Festival.  Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to Jaclyn Bethany, soon to be a household name:

Tell us about growing up in Mississippi.  Where are you from and have you always been interested in film?  “I am from Jackson. I went to Millsaps for two years before transferring to university in New York. 

I had a wonderful childhood anchored by two amazing parents who made sure I tried every activity and sport. But, the creative world really sucked me in.  I ‘drew’ books before I could write and had my mom write the sentences. I directed plays in my backyard, made little films for book reports and was very into ballet until I realized I enjoyed acting and singing more.  I did plays and acting camps at New Stage, and ballet at Ballet Mississippi. I was certainly interested in film, but had no idea about what it meant to be a film director. I have vivid memories of seeing films in Jackson. I watched the Wizard of Oz religiously at three years old, even my father knew all of the words. I remember going to the Deville Plaza Cinema and watching the Little Mermaid when it was released, and Mighty Ducks- maybe the loudest movie of all time. And I fell asleep!” 

Did you go to school for film/acting?  “I did. My two years at Millsaps I had about four majors. I didn't really know what I wanted to do. However, I played some great roles while there- Wendla in Spring Awakening and Maria in The Sound of Music. I was mentored by the Cokers, who were fantastic. 

Then I transferred to Fordham in New York City where I received my BA in Acting. In the summers I worked with theatre/film companies and trained at acting schools around the world. I lived in Sydney and worked for the Sydney Film Festival, I spent my summers in London at the drama schools there. Next month I will graduate with an MA in Screenwriting from the London Film School. Then, I basically head straight to LA to start my directing fellowship at the American Film Institute Conservatory- the alma mater of directors such as Terrance Malick, Drake Doremus, David Lynch and Andrea Arnold.” 

Tell me about the project that led you to the Cannes Festival.  What inspired your project?  Do you act, direct, produce, etc.?   “I was there with three projects. I suppose the most prominent project was a short film I am developing called "In the Land of Lava and Ice" which is inspired by an illness I experienced three years ago and is set in Iceland. I was selected to pitch this script at the Marche du Film, the largest film market in the world. It was one of twenty projects selected from around the world to compete for 5,000 euros to make the film. It was a huge honor. I didn't make the finals, but I got so much support that I know I can make the project.  I plan to write and direct that film within the next year but I haven't decided if I want to act in it. Acting and directing oneself is hugely challenging. But, I love to challenge myself and often feel strongly that I should play a role I create. I produce, but I don't have career goals to pursue a career as a producer. Often my projects are very low budget, so everyone takes on multiple jobs. 

The other two films were in the Short Film Corner at Cannes. The Short Film Corner is a fantastic networking opportunity, and a great entry to be a part of the festival. A film I directed, wrote and acted in ‘Between Departures’ was in the short film corner, as well as ‘Blindness’ a fantastic, powerful short film directed by my friend and mentor Yvonne McDevitt, which I just acted in. I am particularly proud of Between Departures because it got me into AFI, has played several festivals (including the Berlin Film Festival), and has brought me recognition for my acting work.”

What brought you to London?  “I applied and was accepted to the London Film School for their screenwriting course. I was attracted to the program because the school's films do really well at festivals. Just this year, an MA Screenwriting graduate won the Academy Award for Best Short. I also really wanted to learn more about writing and become a better writer. Plus, I wanted to experience living in a different country for a year.” 

Where do you hope your career leads next?  Do you prefer acting, directing, producing, etc.? “
It all goes together in a way. This career takes time. I am very fortunate that I have had such wonderful support and opportunities to make it this far. I have worked with some wonderful people. I would say writing/directing, though if my career as an actor can fuel my filmmaking career I am certainly open to that. I find watching myself quite painful though! 

I am going to focus on directing for the next two years, so that is the path I will most likely take. I admire filmmakers such as Lake Bell, who has a successful career as an actor but also writes/directs and appears in her own work. I think that is so inspiring. I do not necessarily want to act in everything I direct and I don't, but I do think it helps me stand out. On set I am calm, direct, kind and simple. I know what I want, and I am respectful of each actor and crew member, giving them the focus and space to do their best work. 

I am introverted. There is no type of qualified personality you need to have to direct, nor is there a right way to direct. Some of the world's best directors are introverts… Look at Woody Allen and Terrance Malick. For some reason, as a young woman, I am often subject to unfair and negative criticism on my choice of a career. However, I think the lack of women directors in Hollywood is changing. I see no difference between women and men as directors, I believe in total equality. I was raised to believe I could do anything. My work is most definitely female driven, but I don't really single out the women in film movement. I believe that men too can make fantastic films about women. I just don't think there should be discrimination.  My mother was the first female law partner at her office, but she never let that stop her nor believed it made her different.” 

 How did growing up in Mississippi influence your work?  “In every way. The feature I am writing largely takes place in Mississippi. Mississippi has played a part in each of my short films, too- whether as location, or character background. There's really no place like it in the world. Think about all of the amazing artists and writers who have come out of Mississippi. The first play I directed in New York was by Tennessee Williams (and I hope to direct more theatre, and more of his work!)”

Jaclyn, what an impressive career!  Thank you for sharing your passion and talents with all of us.  We look forward to seeing more of you and your work in the near future!

Jaclyn’s Filmography:
Olivia Martha Ilse (2015)
Short
Writer/producer/actor
Director: Sophia Kiapos
Cast: James Frain, Emmy Award winner Tammy Blanchard, Tonea Stewart, Lindsay Newell, C.C. Kellogg, Christian Durso, Delance Minefee 

“This project taught me so much and I am so grateful. I was working with some very well known actors who had worked with the greats. Just seeing how they worked was inspiring. For the most part this film was an out of body experience and I just couldn't believe it was happening. Based on Chekhov's Three Sisters relocated to the 1930s Delta, I still think of perhaps making it into a television series or something. Although, I would probably have to graduate to the eldest sister!” 

Dear Annabel (2016)
Short
Writer/producer/actor
Director: Constance L. Hoy
Cast: Jaclyn Bethany, Evan Brechtel, Lauren Ledger, Tori Johnston

“I loved this idea and the character I played, Polly. It also features a mainly Mississippi-based cast and crew, which is awesome. I crowd funded this film, and it was mainly backed by Mississippians. I am eternally grateful.” 

Between Departures (2016)
Writer/Director/Producer/Actor
Cast: Jaclyn Bethany, Patrick Walshe McBride

“It was my first film as a director, and I'm really proud of this film. It is about a girl who shows up in London, checks into an airport hotel and meets up with her ex boyfriend. It is shot in one hotel room, and has a bit of a Lost in Translation feel to it. But it's ultimately a film about a broken relationship.” 

Schoolgirls (2016)
Writer/Director
Cast: Lauren McCrostie, Charissa Shearer, Rosie Tapner 

“I am interested in young girls and adolescents in my work. This was the first film that really explored that. The film was short, so I had a lot of time to play around and experiment with the actors whom I loved. It was my first time truly behind the camera.”

Sunday Tide (2017)
Short
Writer/Director
Cast: Louisa Harland, Jenny Boyd, Ellie Goffe, Aisha Fabienne Ross, Allegra Marland and Sorcha Groundsell 

“I just shot this, it is my favorite project to date. It is extremely visual and experimental, based on a feature idea, which follows six sisters who make a silent pact and live in a secluded beach house. It was highly ambitious, working with six girls who were all incredible, and shooting about 40 shots in one day. I want this film to premiere at a top festival. I think this film really encompasses my visual style and my love of actors. And I have a little cameo!” 

Upcoming/In Development
In Transit (2017)
Short 

“A follow-up to Between Departures, this takes place in Paris, where the protagonist travels to surprise her younger sister. I think it is a strong narrative and I'm so excited to shoot in Paris. I hope to make the ‘Between Departures’ shorts a series of shorts, each taking place in a different city, inspired by Richard Linklater's ‘Before Sunrise’ series.”

In The Land of Lava and Ice (2017)
Short 

“The film which I pitched at Cannes, follows a washed-up child actress, recently released from rehab, who joins her sister and her new husband on a trip to Iceland. She wants to make amends, but things start to go downhill as her sister is overcome with a mysterious illness, and finds herself unexpectedly fighting for her life. This film brings awareness to blood clots, and it's extremely personal to me. I suffered from bilateral pulmonary embolisms three years ago. I also think the film will be stunning visually with Iceland as its backdrop, and really have the potential to have extremely moving performances.”

{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
At the age of fifteen, Steve Scott's live changed when he began working in his uncle’s clothing store.  He recalls, “I fell in love with retail, especially Men’s clothing.”  Steve opened his own store in 1986 and today, Steve and his son, Wright, continue to own one of the south's finest men's stores - Great Scott: Clothing & Furnishings for Gentlemen.    

“I came in to work with my dad in 2003.  I didn’t have much experience, so I learned about the store and worked my way up.  It is great seeing my father every day at Great Scott,” says Wright.  “Now my 8-year-old son son and 6-year-old daughter come spend time in the store.  It reminds me of growing up and going to Great Scott to hang out when I was a child.  It is really neat to experience that with my children.”  Great Scott is truly a family business with handsome products and unparalleled customer service.

Great Scott has an incredible selection of affordable gifts for the men in your life this Father’s Day!  We had the pleasure of speaking with Wright, and today we are thrilled to share his Father’s Day Gift Guide:

Gift Certificates to the Barber Shop or the store! - “The Barber Shop has wonderful grooming products, shaving products, colognes and hair products.  We feature high quality brands such as Jack Black, the Art of Shaving and Kale Naturals.”

Luggage – “We have cool luggage in the store that is perfect for the traveling dad.”

Eyewear – “We have Randolph Eyewear.  They started making aviator sunglasses in the 1970’s for the U.S. Airforce.  They are well-made, great looking gifts for any man.”

A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen – “Southern Living recently produced this great cookbook.  It is perfect for the father who enjoys cooking or grilling.”

Accessories – “We have boxer briefs and Royal Highnies products, which are high thread count boxers and lounge pants.  Also, socks are trending, so we have great cotton pairs in an array of colors and styles.”

Bar Accessories – “We have incredible corkscrews made from bats from professional baseball teams, as well as a delicious Bloody Mary Mix.”

Writing Pen – “Great Scott carries pens made out of bullets!  These are created from the 308 cartridge, which is used in a sniper rifle.  These come in brass and silver and make an impressive gift.”

Thank you, Wright, for this perfect Father’s Day Gift Guide!  Great Scott is also known for their handsome suits, cool denim, sport coats, shoes and ties.  We guarantee any father will be thrilled to open a gift from Great Scott on Father’s Day.    “At Great Scott it is all about the customer. We will do whatever it takes to make the customer feel special, which he is. We will meet him early and stay late, even go to his office or home and deliver whatever he needs to him.”

For more information on Great Scott, please visit their website here!  We wish all fathers a wonderful, happy and healthy Father’s Day weekend!

Photos courtesy of Great Scott ​
{Blog by Mitchell Walters}
 
 
If you are searching for the perfect Father's Day gift for the outdoorsman in your life, look no further.  Wren & Ivy, a family business based in Madison, produces handsome, handmade classic hunting and outdoor gear.  Owner B.C. Rogers says, “I connect to the outdoors and the history of my family in the outdoors.  But I was growing increasingly frustrated that classic gear has not changed.  It doesn’t have modern functionality; there is no place for your cell phone.  So, I started Wren & Ivy.  I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I designed and made it myself.  We take classic looking gear and add modern functionality to it.”

Each masculine piece is made one-at-a-time by hand, and there is a lifetime guarantee on every product.  Many of the pieces are made domestically, but most of the products are created in Leon, Mexico.  Rogers says, “Leon is the leather capital of the world and provides the best consistent quality.  All of our bags have a great weathered look.  Our motto is ‘Leave a Legacy.’  The day your bag looks the worst is the day you receive it.  We used ours this past hunting season and after over fifty days in the field, they look incredible.”

Wren & Ivy has an array of Father’s Day gifts.  “We have everything from a sleep bag to a Gentleman’s Grooming Kit.  All of our products were designed by a man and made with masculine materials – wax canvas and bridle leather.  If you want to personalize your gift, embossing is included in all of our products!  It’s nice to personalize a gift for your husband or father.  It really makes it special for them,” says Rogers.

All Wren & Ivy products are sold direct to the consumer.  You can purchase through the website here, or visit Persnickety in Madison.  The logo behind Wren & Ivy also has a wonderful family story.  Rogers smiles, “I designed the logo with an artist friend from Vermont.  My three-year-old daughter is Wren and my one-year-old son is named Ivy.  In the middle of the logo is the Wren, representing my beautiful daughter, and she is surround and protected by her brother, Ivy.  She is resting on three petals, representing the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”

Rogers adds, “I would never presume my children will take over the company one day.  But, I wanted them to know that everything my wife, Kim, and I do is certainly for them and with them in mind.”  He smiles, “Wren loves to walk in, point to the logo and say, ‘That’s me!’”

For more information on this extraordinary Mississippi company and their products, please visit the Wren & Ivy website here.  You can also click here to view the Wren & Ivy Facebook Page.  For questions, email info@wrenandivy.com

All photographs courtesy of Wren & Ivy
 
 
“Our biggest inspiration for our adoption is God.  James 1:27 states, ‘ Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’  This adoption has definitely brought us both closer to our Heavenly Father as we lean on him and trust Him.”  Deborah and Stephen Edmonson

Mississippi is filled with incredibly brave and loving mothers.  Today, we are thrilled to feature our interview with one particularly inspiring woman.  Deborah Edmonson is the mother of five lovely children, and an advocate for adoption and those with special needs.  We reached out to Deborah to learn more about her faith and her family.

Tell us about yourself!  Did you grow up in Mississippi?
“I grew up in Mississippi and attended the University of Mississippi where I majored in Special Education.  When I started college, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up!  I changed majors so many times.  One day, I volunteered at a preschool and met the most precious little blonde-haired girl who just happened to have Down syndrome.  That little girl changed my life.  I changed my major to special education and fell in love with all the children and adults I have met through the years.”  

Tell us about your sweet daughter, Taylor
“I am a crazy mom when it comes to my children and I know God used this time in college to prepare me for our 4th child, Taylor.  She just happened to be a beautiful blonde-haired little girl with Down syndrome.  :)  While she was in the NICU at UMC, one of the social workers gave me information on adoption.  Not how to adopt but how to place my precious daughter up for adoption!  I was so angry!  Stephen and I talked about adoption, not putting Taylor up for adoption, but adopting a child with special needs… but it just wasn't the ‘right time.’"

What inspired you to adopt Lillee?
“Time passed and one day God knocked me to my knees and let me know without a doubt that Stephen and I needed to adopt from China. We found out that children in China and many other countries that have albinism are seen as cursed or as demons.  We prayed and prayed and one day our social worker called and told us she had a file on a little 9-month-old girl with albinism.  We immediately accepted her file.  Five months later, we traveled to China to add our Lillee to our family.”  

Tell us about all five of your children!
“Lillee is our 5th child and first adoption. Katherine is 21 and attends the University of Colorado.  She volunteered two summers ago at a foster care center for children with special needs in China.  John is 16 and a sophomore at Jackson Academy.  Karlie is 7 and attends Ann Smith in Ridgeland.  Taylor is 6 and attends Ann Smith as well.  Then there is our Lillee Mack who is now 2 1/2.”

How does Lillee inspire you and how has she completed your family?
“Lillee inspires me through her determination and strength.  She survived 14 months in an orphanage in a communist country without a mommy or daddy.  Her vision is not very good and you would NEVER know it!  (All people with albinism have very poor vision).  I don't know if I can say she ‘completes’ our family.  We may be complete but you never know.  :)”

Why is Mississippi a great home for your family?
“Mississippi is a great place to live with Lillee because there is such a strong adoption community.  We have so many friends that have adopted from China, as well.”  

Deborah, thank you for sharing the story of your beautiful family!  To learn more about the Edmonson family and their adoption story, you can visit their blog here!  

The wonderful family photos were captured by the talented Christina Foto
 
 
Mississippians know and love their soul food.  Homemade macaroni and cheese, deep-dish cornbread, fried chicken and okra bring southern flavors to life with every delicious bite. 

Did you know that June is National Soul Food Month?  We created a Soul Food Trail for the 2016 issue of Inspiration Mississippi Magazine, filled with incredibly tasty spots, serving the best comfort foods throughout the state.  Enjoy!

{Blog by Mitchell Walters}