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GIVEAWAY! A handmade sign from Here With Us!


I always love doing giveaways, but this one is special to me because I get to give you something from someone who has been creating beauty for me for a couple years now. She 100% has my seal of approval and I have no problem telling you what a joy she is to work with because I’ve had such great experiences with her.

I’ve got a great interview with her below, but if you’re in a rush, here’s how to enter the giveaway for a handmade sign: Comment below with your favorite sign from the options at the bottom of the post. For a second entry, go “like” the Here With Us Facebook page and tell Traci that I sent you. Now back to the story.

I first found out about Here With Us through a Facebook post from a friend. I loved the idea of helping support someone’s adoption by buying something I genuinely liked. I thought her work was beautiful and had something specific in mind that I wanted someone to help me create. When I contacted Traci she was great to work with– open to my idea, checked with me about possible colors, fonts, etc., and then ran with it when she had a rough idea of what we were looking for. I could not have been more pleased with the finished product and two years later, it still hangs above our bed. It was an anniversary gift I gave to my husband that’s a quote from a Dr. Who episode that summed up a needed attitude adjustment in our marriage:


So when I recently put out the call for anyone who wanted to partner with me for some giveaways, I was thrilled when Traci responded. Once again, she created something beautiful for our family that was exactly what I was hoping for. It’s a quote from one of our favorite movies (“Meet the Robinsons”) combined with a Scripture reference:

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I love that by working with Here With Us I’m able to create a home environment that embodies what I want to communicate to my kids and my spouse, not just what was available at the store when I went looking for home decor. Got favorite song lyrics that have meaning to you and your husband? Or is it the lullaby you sang over your kids? Want some personal affirmations to hang in your bathroom when you’re feeling down about yourself? Got a favorite quote from your Grandma that you’d like to hang in your kitchen? Traci is your go-to girl. And she’s happy to collaborate with you on colors and sizes that work in your space. And if you want something beautiful that’s ready to hang, she’s got lovely pieces that are ready to go.

If you want to know more about where Traci finds inspiration, what she plans to do after their adoption is complete, or how she finds time to create while parenting her active kids, keep reading!


When did you start Here With Us? We started Here With Us in December of 2014 as a way to raise money for our adoption. Within a few months, this little hobby quickly became a business. Our adoption story has taken a few unexpected turns and as we wait on God’s timing, I discovered that I really love creating wood signs. My husband and I didn’t expect Here With Us to grow like it has and we have decided that we will likely continue Here With Us after our adoption has been finalized.

How long does it take you to create a piece? I am always working on more than one sign at a time and there are many steps involved in creating each piece. Often we will start preparing a board, but the sign will not be complete for several weeks or even months! My husband usually starts the process by cutting, sanding, and staining the board. I design, paint, and seal the signs. Then he finishes by adding a frame. In addition, we sand in between each step. It is difficult to say, but probably at least a couple hours per sign depending on the size and complexity of the design.

Where do you get your inspiration? Everywhere! I am constantly looking for motivating quotes, something that I personally would want in my home, or a saying I know my customers will love. We strive to keep things simple, ensuring our signs will fit beautifully with any decorating style.

How do you find time to run your business while also parenting? As our business has grown, we have really improved in this area. At first it was hard to balance everything, but now I have a set day every week where our three year old spends the day with Grandma and I spend all day painting. I’m a night owl, so after the boys are in bed, I can usually be found painting in my workshop. During the summer though, I do paint when the boys are around. I love setting up outside by their treehouse and working as the boys play. As much as possible, we include the boys in our business. Our youngest helps me shop for supplies during the school day. Our six year old helps by sanding or wiping down boards. They both take tremendous pride in helping as we work to fund our adoption. It has been a very tangible way in which they can help bring their sibling home, and they both appreciate that greatly.

What advice do you have for a woman who wants to turn her hobby into a business? Find something that you enjoy and be prepared to work hard. It has been extremely helpful for our family to sit down every few months and discuss goals. Having a business is so rewarding, but it also takes up a big chunk of my time. I am thankful to have the support of my husband. I could not run a successful business without his help and encouragement.

Would you like to have your own special sign from Here With Us? Want something special to give your mom, sister, daughter or friend for Mother’s Day? Check out your choices:








11×14 (customizable- available in numbers 1-9)



Here are two ways to enter our giveaway for up to two entries in the drawing:

1) Comment on this post with which of these signs is your favorite (there’s no right answer, it’s just a way to get you entered).

2) Go to the Here With Us Facebook page and “like” it, then post on it that you were sent by A Musing Maralee.
I will close the drawing Thursday at noon CST (4/27/17) and pick a winner! I’ll email the winner and get you connected with Traci to arrange the details of your prize. Comment away!
 (And come find Here With Us on Instagram, too!)
***GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. Congrats to our winner, Dawn!***
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  1. These are so fun! I Love “keep moving forward”! Also the number sign and “but first, coffee”!

  2. Even my daughter will tell you “but first, coffee”. She knows I need my caffeine. These are great and very pretty.

  3. But first, coffee 👍🏻😂

  4. I love the Love grows best in little houses just like this!

  5. Small houses!! We have lots of littles in our small house.

  6. But first coffee!!

  7. “But First Coffee”–I have the perfect spot for it over the coffee bar!!

  8. I love all of them, but the Grow Old With Me resonates the most with me.

  9. I love choose joy!

  10. “Choose joy” is a reminder I need daily…especially when it comes to fostering! 😉

  11. I love the “choose joy” design! Would love to display it in our home 🙂

  12. Love grows best…

  13. These are all lovely! I think the “Choose Joy” is the one I would pick.

  14. These are so awesome! My favorite: “choose joy”

  15. Thanks for doing this Maralee! Don’t enter me, I am blessed to call her my daughter in law AND have many of her awesome signs in my home. I just wanted to thank you for helping support Here With Us!

  16. Love grows best…

  17. Torn between the “5” and “choose joy”. They are all so great!

  18. But first, coffee! Of course!

  19. I grew up with Traci and have been following their adoption story for awhile now. ☺️ The second and third signs are my favorite out of these. Her stuff is just fantastic!

  20. Chose joy! I love all my here with us signs!!

  21. So pretty! But first, coffee might be most appropriate for our household – though Keep Moving Forward is also pretty epic.

  22. I love choose joy 🙂

  23. I love the Choose Joy sign!

  24. I would want the “Choose Joy” sign. Beautiful work!

  25. So sweet! I love the idea of a number sign.

  26. Choose joy 🙂

  27. I love the ‘Choose Joy!” sign!

  28. Love the choose joy! So glad there are people designed to be creative in this way!

  29. Choose Joy!

  30. Love the little houses! <3

  31. I love the choose joy one! Great reminder in a beautiful way.

  32. Definitely the “Love grows best” one, as we are a family of 7 living in a 250 sq ft RV! We love all the variations of that quote!

  33. Choose Joy

  34. “Choose joy”

  35. Love “Choose Joy”! Can never be reminded enough to make that choice! Also like “but first, coffee”! As that often helps me choose joy! 😂

  36. Beautiful! My favorite of these is “Grow Old With Me…”

  37. The coffee sign is great! So is the choose joy sign.

  38. Choose joy!

  39. Choose joy!! It’s been a daily thought over past month or so.

  40. Choose joy…a reminder I constantly need. These signs are beautiful!

  41. Grow old with me… is the one I would chose, but it was a hard choice.

  42. Come grow old with me, The best is yet to be!

  43. I think the Chose Joy one…. 🙂

  44. But first coffee!!! So perfect!

  45. I love “But First, Coffee!”

  46. Choose Joy…I believe in doing this every day… that and gratitude.

  47. I like Choose Joy!

  48. Love the joy sign!

  49. Really well done! I would love any but my favorite is choose joy.

  50. So many lovely signs… I love “choose joy”, it’s a reminder I need every day!

  51. I’ve been loving the “number” sign for a while!

  52. I like all of them, but really like the choose joy one!

  53. choose joy! Great reminder!

  54. “Choose joy” is the one from here I need, but her fb cover photo is our family verse that I’ve been wanting on a sign like that ever since we first hosted exchange students and now foster children…it’s our WHY! 🙂

  55. Choose Joy!

  56. Love grows best in little houses!

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