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Earlier this month, I hosted a fundraiser for Postpartum Progress at Wine & Design. I set this up sight unseen. I'd never taken a class there – or anywhere like it for that matter. It was my very first “paint and sip” experience.

I had a blast!

If you haven’t been to something like this before, the concept is pretty simple. Bring a beverage (or purchase one, depending on the organization and where the event is held) to sip, and paint a picture.

Those I know who have done this sort of thing before have had nothing but great things to say about them, so I was really looking forward to my Paint it Forward night so I could create my very own Summershine Tree.


When I arrived to set up, our instructor was busy sketching our trees onto canvas. I was relieved to see that the main object is drawn for you. She also set out our brushes and paper plates with the paint colors we’d need for our painting.

Painting it Forward

A lot of us were anxious about how well our paintings would turn out, but I think they all turned out great! Our instructor gave us step-by-step instructions on what colors to use, how to mix the paint, and where to apply it. She actually painted her own Summershine Tree right along with us!

Painting it Forward via Mom in Progress

I left feeling relaxed which, if you read my first post about this fundraiser, was kind of my intent. Yes, I organized the event to raise awareness of Fredericksburg’s Climb and Postpartum Progress, but there was a self-care aspect I wanted to share with everyone too.

Painting it Forward

I had a few women tell me they signed up specifically to support the cause, so that more awareness can be brought to maternal mental health. Their words reminded me why I've participated in Climb Out of the Darkness since its start four years ago, and why I volunteered to lead a walk again this year.

I want to give a shout out to Michelle, Wine & Design Fredericksburg’s owner. She worked with me so that the night was a success and I’m extremely appreciative of that. And a huge thanks to everyone who came out to paint, have a few laughs, and help moms in the process! Thanks to all of you, $256.00 is going to Postpartum Progress so they can continue to help mothers win their battles with maternal mental illnesses.

Fredericksburg's Climb Out of the Darkness event is Saturday, June 18 at Old Mill Park. There's still time to register! Whether you walk with us at Old Mill Park or send us happy vibes from your couch, we'd love you on our team. Individuals 18+ must register for this free family-friendly event prior to June 18. To register or support us with a donation of your own, please visit our fundraising page.

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About Emma

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Emma is married to her high school sweetheart and is a stay at home mom of two boys: G and L. A wanna-be professional writer and photographer, she can often be found following her boys around with a camera. When she isn’t chasing after her kids, Emma writes about her motherhood journey on her personal blog, Muddy Boots and Diamonds.

Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.