Rob grew up in Waynesboro, VA where he learned to love the outdoors. He attended and graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 1985 with a degree in Visual Communications.
After college, Rob moved to Charlotte, NC and worked for several advertising agencies before joining one of the nations largest banking companies – eventually earned a creative director’s position. His career with the bank spanned 13 years, 3 corporate name changes and countless mergers.
Today, Rob makes his home in Charlotte, NC with his wife Heather, his children Morgan, John and their golden retrievers, Annie and Sophie.
If you don’t find him in the garden planting something colorful or on the lake fishing, he’s probably in his studio trying to put images to paper or canvas.
The age-old wonder of death and how we can escape it. We can’t escape our physical death from this world, but we can live forever in spirit! I look at death as being born into a new life… a spiritual life!
I want you to go with me on this one, as I am only using a common sense analogy. It is not my intent to offer the believes of any religious groups. I am talking about our spirit… something we all have.
We are all conceived in the womb. This is a place where we lived for 9 months. We kicked and we sucked our thumb. We were alive in that warm cozy womb. Then one day “someone” says to us “today you are going to born into a new world where you will breathe in air, have parents, eat real food and run and play. It is going to be so different from anything that you have experienced over the last 9 months, you will be born!” You say … NO! I don’t want to leave here (the womb) I am happy here. It feels so safe and warm! You say that I will be born into a new world… to me it would be like death to leave the womb. What you call being born is death to me! Well as life goes… you are born into a new world, you breathe the air, you feel the love and comfort of your parents. You learn to eat real food, and you grow up to adulthood. Your life in the womb becomes a memory you can’t remember.
We come to the end of our physical life. Now “someone” comes to us again and says.. “it is time to be born into a new world” Some say NO! and some welcome it with open arms! We are going to be born again into a world that is so different from anything that we have experienced over the last however many years of our life. We are going to be born into our spiritual life!
Some of us will be afraid of this transition just as we were when we were in our mother’s womb. The fear will leave once we cross over to our spiritual life. A life that will give us all the answers to our worldly questions and a life that will be shared with all of those that have gone before us. And as with our memory of womb life, this physical life will also become a memory we can’t remember.
I am not asking you to dwell on the end of your physical life, just think of it as another phase of our existence. It will be greater than anything our minds can imagine, and therefore it is human nature to feel fear of the unknown. I for one will welcome it with open arms when my time comes. Stephen Spurling
I know that a lot of us live with some major disappointments in our lives, woulda, coulda, shoulda! The thing that will help us deal with our own demons is to remember that almost all of us can say this at varies points in our lives. I for one have my own disappointments and think of these disappointments as “did I have control over “what is” or “do I have control over what will to be?” The point here is that we all must move on from some of life’s biggest disappointments. We must be strong enough to make alternate arrangements. Be at peace with ourselves, find our happiness and propose in life the best way we can. We are not all destin to have everything we want, and we must be at peace with what we have. And above all… know that if your disappointments were within your control… You would have changed the outcome. Control over all things that come our way will never happen, but how we deal with it and make it through should be our focus. Stephen Spurling
Sawdust runs through my veins… well not really, but I have often wondered if there is something in my gene pool that makes me love the smell of fresh-cut wood. The smell of a freshly painted house. and even the metallic smell of nails and screws. I have often thought of sweeping up sawdust at the job site taking it home and putting in a pot on the stove… my potpourri! Now that’s foolish!
I have to love it. After all; who could possibly like working outside in the cold of winter and in the heat of summer. How about crawling under a house, entering into the world of bugs and spiders that are carrying on their day-to-day lives were I am the intruder! No fear of cobwebs here my passion is too great! Sometimes it can be dirty work but it goes with the job. Now all this craziness is necessary to say that I am good at what I do! I feel as if I eat, sleep and breathe my work! It is my God-given talent to be a “renovating fool!” But sometimes I do wish God had made me a great piano player… as my back would surely be all the better for it!
We can’t pick the talents that we are given. We must just figure without how to expound on them. So find your God-given talent, and you too will be able to eat sleep and breathe your gift! Even if means working alongside the bugs and spiders, you will do it. This all leads back to one if my favorite quotes: When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.” Erma Bombeck Using the talents that God gave us is our intended path and there is nothing more gratifying than doing what we do best! Stephen Spurling
This small kitchen was turned into a dream kitchen without adding any square footage. So when working with limited space, does size really matter? No. What matters is how you design the space you have for your needs and what pizzazz you can create. Remember pizzazz fits in any space! The most precious commodity in a small kitchen is the counter top space. This kitchen was designed with a built-in microwave cabinet below the counter top and an oversized single farm sink that holds large platters, both saving countertop space. The great contemporary/ traditional chandelier anchors the kitchen with “stand out” design. During the renovation we actually found an orignal plastered archway over the sink that had been hidden from a previous renovation… Why??? I was so excited to find this original archway as it’s true architecture for the age of the house. What a classy design in a small space that works for the homeowner and the chandelier is the real icing on the cake! Stephen Spurling
Would it not be great if we wore a smile everyday instead of just for the camera! I was always told by my mother, “live your life as if your on a stage and everyone is watching”. I have always remembered this and thought of it in terms of posing for a picture. Don’t we always put on our best smile? After all no one wants to take a bad picture. This is a thoughtless process smiling for the camera. I say that we should carry this thoughtless process throughout our day-day lives. If you think about it we are almost always being observed by others whether we realize it or not. So smiling should be a thoughtless process when we encounter others. And hey, they are taking a picture of us in their minds anyway. We only have one chance to make a first impression so smiling is a guaranteed positive first impression. You say…. “I can’t walk around smiling all the time” Yes you can! If you want positive feedback from others you will have to learn how to smile even when you don’t feel like it. Besides I bet you will feel better just putting forth the effort! Smile for the snapshots that are being taken in minds of others. You will alway take a good picture! Stephen Spurling
I have a friend that used this saying “firecracker friends” to describe our friendship. I thought what is a firecracker friend? Well when she explained, I was blown away! Here is what a firecracker friend is… someone whom you have not seen or talked to in a long time and when you do reconnect… you both pop and light up like a firecracker! I thought what great compliment to a friendship. Someone that you haven’t seen or talked to in some time, and you are completely able to pick up right where you left off the last time you were together. We laugh and talk as if time and distance have not come between us. Friends can become our chosen family and we can share so much of our lives with each other. I feel so lucky to have quite a few “firecracker friends”, and even luckier that this particular friend taught me that we make each other pop and light up!.Thanks my firecracker friend!
So I want you to remember the next time you reconnect with a friend and you both pop and light up with excitement… then you are “firecracker friends”. Stephen Spurling
This 1930′s house was renovated in the first picture (exterior white)…YIKES! Do you think with this renovation; plate-glass windows, a patio instead of a porch, and lets not forget the vinyl siding were really a good choice for a 1930′s bunglow?I’ll answer for you… NO! I found a picture of the original house and spared no expense to return it to its original character. I rebuilt the front porch, replaced the plate-glass windows with the original style, and removed all the vinyl siding.(2nd picture) So after looking at the second picture, which renovation was better? I don’t think I have to answer this one for you! Stephen Spurling
I should start by saying that my mother was the very best… She was a kind, and a God-loving women. I was her son although not her first choice. Odd circumstances would bring us together to share a life that would grow into a beautiful mother and son relationship.
I was adopted, and I know as most would say…. how special it is to be “chosen”. And I say yes it is! However I was only chosen because I came as a “package deal”. My mother had to adopt me to get her first love, my brother. I was the extra baggage that came with the child that she really loved. We would all three grow up and live in the best harmony my mother could provide. Yes, my mother would raise us as a single parent something unconventional for the era that we were living in. She worked hard to make ends meet, a journey that she took willingly! I loved my mother and I know that she grew to love me in time. She wasn’t a mother who said “I love you” nor did she show affection. I understand now, it was her only way of being strong as she had been hurt by all the turmoil surrounding the adoption of my brother and me! Plus the fact that now she would have two mouths to feed which made her life twice as hard! So, how lucky was I that she loved my brother so much that she was willing to take on a second child that she really did not want or have the means to provide for. Although my childhood wasn’t always easy, and the love at first was not equal, I was a part of the “package deal”.
I fast forward to the end of my mother’s life, a life that was taken way too soon. I only had my mother for a very short period of my adult life, an injustice that only life can deal. When I think back now on our adult relationship and all the love that she learned to show, it still brings tears to my eyes. No, I wasn’t wanted, but I was in the end one of her most proudest accomplishments. You see life will give you back all that difficult circumstances can sometimes take away. It is the circle of life. I now understand what my mother meant when she said to me… “God gave me this life and I have truly done the best I could with it”. If I can share anything with you from my past experiences, it would be… ” If life is full of unwanted circumstances and it is, then make the best of them”! It is all any of us can do. And at the end of the “day” even if that “day” takes years to come, and we are wise enough to see, life will give us the answers. My mother taught me that wisdom. I have so much love for her and her choices in life. After all I am here and I am all that I am because of her! Stephen Spurling
We can bring jobs back to this country, and we cannot rely on Washington to do it for us! ( they have their own political agenda) We can rebuild the American dream if each one of us make the effort to buy products that are made in the USA. It will be difficult and most of all time-consuming, … [Read More...]
I am not an aficionado when it comes to decorating a Christmas tree, but do know a thing or two about the placement of a tree in a room. I only came upon this knowledge through countless nights of touring the neighborhood Christmas decorations. So my best advice is... do not put your tree … [Read More...]