Tuesday, January 31, 2012

welcome the love

Ready or not February is HERE!

And with this month comes the great holiday
Valentine's Day!
(and Ground Hog's day...which I'm also excited about, 
but who decorates for GH day?)

I got the crafting bug this evening and started working on some of my Valentine's Day decorations.
Let me just say that this is the very first time I have ever decorated for Valentine's Day
(aside from decorating a shoe box in elementary school). 

I got the idea for the banner from Pinterest and the jars from The Pleated Poppy

I really love how the jars turned out and I added this cute polka dot ribbon that I never use and I had in my hair accessories box.

The banner is made from copies of hymns...I found some 
of the ones that are about Christ's love for us and copied them. 
The best thing about Valentine's Day is not chocolate (although that is important), but it is the fact that we can only love because God first loved us! 

Without Christ we know nothing of true love. I wanted to
be reminded of that throughout this season of sending love and surprises to friends and family. May I also add that if you are one of those who wears black in protest of Valentine's Day or are simply sad because of your lack of "significant other" on February 14th, please don't be. The real celebration isn't earthly love. The true celebration is that Christ loved us--the only reason we can celebrate love.
So take time to enjoy February 14th...and indulge in some chocolate because it is a gift from God too! :)

I'm very happy with how it turned out, and really it only took like 40 minutes (and that includes stopping for a few minutes to nurse a sleepy baby). 

For this post, I'm joining a linky party! Hooray! 

So head on over there and check out what everyone is posting! Its all about Valentine's day--recipes, crafts, DIY, outfits, etc. Join in the fun! :) 

house tour--master bedroom

Here it is! The one you've all been waiting for! 
Ok, so maybe not. 
But here is the next room on my little house apartment tour.

The Master Bedroom

 View from the foot of the bed.

 One pillow came with the bedding, the other two I made. They don't match exactly, but they go nicely. 
The art is something I made from Styrofoam (that came from something that was shipped to us) and some scraps of fabric. I just felt like the room needed something.
 View from the door. Like I said, the room needed something. You can see that the walls are pretty sparse in here. I guess because no one really sees it, I simply don't decorate it...or haven't yet. Even as I type this I am having ideas of what I could do.

 This little jewel sits on our dresser. My sister made it for us after we got married (for Christmas I think). It has a few cute pictures of us from out wedding day and our invitation displayed so beautifully. I enjoy looking at it and being reminded of that day and our vows.

 My other sister got this for us the first Christmas we were married. 
I adore it!

 Least favorite corner of the room...my make-shift night stand. It works well for holding things (all my scarves, headbands, jewelry) but it isn't really that easy on the eyes.

Wow! We've almost made it through the entire apartment! Just two rooms left--
-Little E's room

Pretty sure Little E's room will be the most fun of the two. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

weekend coziness

I l.o.v.e. this girl. 
We had a great weekend together--along with her Papa. 
Last night we just relaxed at home (great thing about Sunday nights) and enjoyed each other. 
I must say, the middle picture is my favorite. I woke her at 10 for her last nurse for the night and she has this CRAZY bed head! It was hilarious! You can see that she wasn't exactly happy at that point...

but the other pictures are after she nursed--much happier little lady :) 

I decided that I don't use my camera enough, so I made Papa take some pics of us last night even though we were all in our PJ's. 

Saturday was a lovely day as well. I spent the morning working on homework and things for Little E's upcoming birthday party! (Check out my pinterest for a sneak peek). Then we enjoyed the fellowship of some great, wise, godly friends. God led us to share some hard things during that time, but it was beautiful. 

So many times I fear being open about things---who I am, my struggles, my insecurities--but when we are open, God uses those times in our lives in ways we'd never imagine. I hope, one day, to be able to share with you what God has been working in our lives over the past year, but I know that now is not the right time. 

A challenge to myself (and to you, if you'd have it) on this Monday morning is,
embrace openness.
Let others in. Enter into others. 
Don't judge.
Don't speak.
Just listen & pray. 
Real, True, Lasting
only comes when you open the door of your heart,
break down the walls,
and let other in. 

Its scary--terrifying really--but so worth it. 
This is honestly not something I am good at...I'm horrible at it to be completely honest.
God is giving me the grace power I need to do this in my life, and I am trusting him for whatever happens after opening. Will you?

**note: in my experience, it comes easier with a cup of coffee ;)**


Friday, January 27, 2012

house tour--the loo

In a teeny-tiny house, you are going to have a teeny-tinier bathroom! 
I believe the word "water closet" best describes ours, since it is roughly the size of some people's closets!

To be completely honest, this is one of my two least favorite rooms in our apartment.
Mainly because the floor always looks dirty no matter how often or hard you clean it,
because the walls are not plaster or drywall. They are this strange material that is slick and hard to paint. 
This combination is not good for decorating purposes, but we do what we can with what we've been given! 

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, our water closet....

 Lovely basket on the back of the toilet for keeping our my stuff organized. 
There isn't much storage space under the sink so we had to be creative. 

 Ok, you can see the wall here. It did have contact paper on it (that had all these ugly palm trees on it). Needless to say, that was the first thing to go. I peeled it off the day we moved in I think. 
Can you see what I mean? The wall is just strange!
 This is what you see when the door is closed.
Forgive me, but we hang our jammies on the back of the door, along with our towels :)

I love the shelves though. They help make up for the lack of storage under the sink!

This mirror is really great for checking out your outfit before walking out of the house! It isn't full length, but beggars can't be choosers!

Lest you think I am complaining,  let me say this,
"I am so thankful for the home God has given us!"

When we were in Uganda, all I wanted was a home with a kitchen where I could cook for my husby, and a bathroom inside the house. I have that! Honestly, we have more than most of the population in the world! 

We just filed our taxes the other day (praise God for tax returns!!), and honestly I was shocked. 
When I looked at the W-2 form that Mike had gotten from Starbucks and what he has gotten from his new job in just 2 months, I was astonished that we actually survived the year without going into debt up to our eyeballs! The only explanation that I can come up with is that somehow, someway (that is completely unseen to me even now) God provided.
He has been so faithful to us this past year. Why, after seeing his provision time and time again, do I continually doubt? I really need to be more thankful for what he has given, and how he is providing. 

This morning I woke up to a crying baby at 12:30 and again at 6. 
(Many of you think that would be wonderful...but Little E is an awesome sleeper and that is completely NOT typical...this momma has gotten used to sleeping all night). At 6 I had an opportunity before me. I could either complain that she was already up and I hadn't had a chance to do my morning routine, or I could accept the grace gift that God gave me.

As I sat there, nursing my teething baby (who woke up because her little mouth was hurting) I recognized that even this was gift of God's grace. I began thanking him, out loud. 
"Thank you, God, for a baby who woke up" (because sometimes babies tragically don't wake up).
"Thank you for the ability and blessing to nurse my baby for 10+ months"
"Thank you for the little fingers that are holding mine as she nurses and sleeps"

When I was finished and she went back to sleep, something different happened...

I felt full.
Filled with joy. Filled with thankfulness. 
Filled by HIM.

So, let me disspell any thoughts that my words about our apartment and our bathroom are ungratefulness. I love this apartment, and I love our bathroom. :) No, it isn't my favorite room in the house, but it is INSIDE! And it is grace...

It is all grace!

May your weekend be filled with the knowledge that every moment is a grace gift from the Father.


fill in the blank

Sorry ladies (and gents, I guess) but we are not having Insta Friday today. I've been a huge slacker and last night I realized I have only taken 1 picture with my phone this week that is even worth upload (maybe I'll just add it to next week's post). 

there is always good news...right?
Fill in the Blank Friday with
is here! Here we go! 

1.   My favorite place i've ever traveled to is     Jamaica...or possibly Uganda. Both were great experiences in very different way.  One, our honeymoon on lovely beaches, the other 6 months of our life where God worked in unthinkable ways through a ministry called New Hope Uganda.

2.    Greece     is somewhere I'd love to go someday.

3.  I pass the time on a plane (or bus, or car ride or train) by     sleeping, reading, or playing Sudoku (love those puzzles!)     .

4.  My three must-haves when I travel are     water bottle    ,    ipod   and     a cozy blanket   

5.  My favorite travel companion is    my husby--Michael  .

6.  The craziest thing that ever happened to me while traveling is    when we were on our way to Jamaica for our honeymoon we had an overnight stay in Chicago (the place we fell in love) and got a hotel room. I didn't know where we were going (our final destination) and they lost Mike's luggage!!! Here we are, no car, leaving at 5 the next morning to go to an unknown-to-me destination and Mike had NOTHING! I had a break down in the airport and to cheer me up he told me where we were headed. We ended up getting a room upgrade (to an executive suite) and they found his luggage. Not a bad ending, but it was definitely stressful crazy  .

7.  The most exotic food I've ever tried while traveling is    jack fruit in Uganda--very different kind of fruit! You either love it or you hate it.

8.  If I could live anywhere else, I'd live in   Chicago (because I have these crazy memories of Michael and I dating, loving, our first kiss, etc...I think I have romanticized that city in my mind...I know I'd hate the winters) or a beach-y town in Cali or Florida

9.  I have been to    16 (at least...maybe more that I am not remembering  

states in the U.S.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


My apologies, but there will be an interruption in our regularly scheduled program today. 

I was unable to snap even one photo of my outfits this week, but not because I am a complete slacker. 
Hubs and I both caught some type of stomach virus that is going around. Saturday night it hit me first (and I will spare you of the lovely details) and super early Sunday morning he got it. Thankfully, Little E did not get it. My mom was so great to come get her for the day so we could rest and recuperate. We ended up staying with my mom for a night so that I could still nurse E, but not have the full load of caring for her while also trying to care for myself and my sick hubby. 

So, today, Wednesday, actually sneaked up on me! With my man home from work yesterday it made Tuesday feel more like Monday...and Wednesday feel more like Tuesday well you get the picture. 

So, I apologize! 

We will get back to the house tour later this week. We only have a few more rooms to go! 
Hope you have a blessed day!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

I did it!

Ok, who else is in love with pinterest?!?

My sister introduced me this past summer, and I am really getting hooked! 

I saw this tutorial for an "I love you because..." message board and adored it!
love message board 1
 I really didn't have everything I needed to make it (mostly the picture frame) and I didn't want to spend the money right now, so I decided to wait. I went to a baby shower last weekend and won a picture frame...so guess what I did! Yep! I got out my glue and went to town crafting :)

Here is my finished product!
 I had the paper left over from some things I did my sophomore year in college.
Got the whole pack of paper at Dollar Tree for just a buck! 

The flower is one that my mom made and I was planning to put it
on a head band/clip to wear myself, but it got another use instead. The other fabric bordering
the frame is a headband that I got for $1 and never wore. I simply cut it apart and glued it on!
I just adore the "Schoolhouse Print"...maybe because I'm a teacher at heart 
(and soon by degree and certification too!). 

So that is my first "real" pinterest project--complete! 
I have another one for Valentine's day that I want to try to get started on this weekend!
It is Mike's gift--so you won't get pictures until after the 14th :) 

I hope you enjoy your weekend. We are going to try to take tonight to just relax and hang out together as a family. Hopefully you can get some good family time in this weekend too!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Insta Friday {photo fun}

life rearranged
Today is FRIDAY! 
Linking up with liferearranged again this week! 
Honestly, this has been a crazy week, with school starting and my dad visited last weekend 
which also kept us pretty busy! Only a few pictures from my phone this week!

Last week E and I met my sister for lunch halfway between her place and mine (about an hour drive).
Aunt B brought Little E a mini-pillow pet...Jolly Jr ( I think I mentioned this last week). 
Here she is all snuggled up with Jolly during nap time...so sweet.

I received these super cute rain boots as a Christmas gift from my other sister. 
It has been surprisingly rainy ever since---yay! 

I must admit that walking all the way across campus in a downpour can actually be fun...yes, I said FUN
when you're wearing the right stuff. I found my self thinking "OH, there's a puddle I can walk through".
Haha! Sounds silly, but with my boots and umbrella, I enjoyed the 10 minute walk in the rain :)

I've heard it said 100+ times, but it really is the simple things in life.
We're on a pretty strict cash budget now (a New Year's goal) so when I saw these flowers at 
the grocery store, I didn't think I could "splurge" on them. 
I had just enough cash for my groceries, but decided to get these anyway (I could space 99cents right?).
When the total came up, I had 25cents more than the total of the groceries + the flowers! Yeah! 
It was PERFECT, and they really bring a special dose of cheer to our house on these gloomy, rainy, cold days. 

This weekend is looking like a pretty busy, but fun one! 
Mike is working a little voluntary overtime and I have a baby shower to attend tomorrow morning. 
Sunday is church and vegetable soup day! 
I'm looking forward to a relaxing time with my family in the midst of our other activities. 

Happy Weekending!


House Tour- Dining Room

Hard to believe in a tiny apartment like ours that we actually have a dining room! 
Actually I think the dining room is my favorite room in the house...at least right now. 

Coming down the hallway, the doorway opens up into our dining room.
Paint is called Tiger Eye from Sherwin Williams. We used it to paint my mom's kitchen
when we lived there, and had just enough left over to do our dining room. Its my favorite 
paint color in the whole place!

We obviously have a coffee theme going on. 
My husband is a coffee addict (and it making me one) so what do you expect?

LOVE my jelly jar cabinet! 
Got it at a moving sale this summer for $20. Add a coat of paint and some chalkboard paint and "Voila"! 
I love putting verses up on it too. This one is still left over from Christmas--oops!

Hanging light came from IKEA about 3 years ago! 
Still lovin' it!

Our fruit bowl is getting rather empty, huh? 

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