Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Want to see something cool?

Alright, if you insist.

It's a bird, it's a plane it's...

A Memory Keeper from Paper Coterie.  Want to see what's inside?  Okay, okay, quit twisting my arm.

Wedding goodies like:

A little book I made to store our wedding cards.

Our homemade wedding invitations, programs, an engagement pic, and the hearts from our Guestbook Tree.

(This guestbook tree).
We asked friends and fam to hang advice or encouragement for the newlyweds.  
Here are some of my faves:

Our wedding album.  I created this using My Publisher.  It reminds me of a yearbook, which as an Ex-Co-Editor-In-Chief makes me happy.

Clues and a word puzzle (does he know me well or what?) from my scavenger hunt engagement.

I think this is a great way to be sentimental while still combating my hoarding tendencies.  I'm pretty sure I got that gene from my mom so I do my best to condense things that I want to save.  I love that this is a pretty way to store things and that they are easily accessible.  What's the point of saving something if it's so buried that you never take it out to admire it anyway?  The best part:  I snagged an amazing deal on these.  I only paid for shipping so instead of $52 it cost me $11.  I think that special is over, but they are still selling them at a discounted $20.  Chickachicka check it out...And get yourself one, hoarder, before it's too late!    

How are you preserving your memories?  

Friday, May 25, 2012

More Valuable Than Birds

{A bird I saw in Costa Rica two summers ago}

Right now I am buried under a pile of kleenex and sipping tea like it's cocaine (FYI I've never tried drugs).  I've come down with a cold:  a sinus infection I suspect.  First of all, I've gotta brag on my beloved.  Phil is off working a 10 hour shift at a daycare (so you know he's working hard) and he still took the time to text to make sure I'd eaten something and taken some dayquil and to tell me to get better and that he loves me.  Class A, people.  Anywho, I wanted to take a minute to share something sweet that happened last week.  It feels like money is always a stressor around here.  I mean, we are shelling it out to go to college and working minimum wage jobs, whilst heavily relying on Financial Aid so it makes sense.  It's worse right now though because 1.  We have no financial aid for the summer.  2.  We mixed up our budget because we didn't take that into account so we wound up being a couple hundred dollars short of what our budget said we had.  3.  We are moving end of June (we both got placed in Clarkston for student teaching so we decided to relocate there) so we need to put down a deposit.  We were really stressed at first and thinking it was impossible.  Then we started to calm down and trust that it would work out.  We began taking money from places in the budget where we thought we could spare to make up the gap.  Completely unexpectedly, Phil got a pay check from work for $350.  It turns out he gets paid every two weeks rather than monthly.  The deposit plus credit check for the new apartment is $335.  We were praising God for being such a great provider.  Then we got home and found our tax refund in the mail!  We had not only enough to cover the gap in our budget, but enough to tuck some money away in savings.  I've noticed that God usually provides instantly as soon as we slow down and trust him.  I think it's because he cares more about the condition of our hearts than our physical well-being--though he obviously cares about that too.  I think it all comes back to this:

Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Port of Ships

I struggle with loving myself.  I often see myself as not worth much.  I know the value I have in Christ's eyes, yet struggle to believe it with my heart.  I let voices from past wounds speak louder than He who says "You are fearfully and wonderfully made."  God is using marriage to help me change.  Philip pushes me to be better in a gentle, loving way.  I'm always writing him love poems and he asked me to write a love poem to myself.  It sounds silly and a bit narcissistic but I think it was good for me.  So here we have it:  The self titled love poem, from me, to me.     

Apricot amber locks fall
over buttermilk skin,
kissed by the angels.

Two blue fires burn
to embers
warming wanderers
like a port of ships.

Long piano fingers
lit with diamonds
spin stories,
make mud pies,
craft crescent moons.

Salty dreams flow
down kitten whiskers,
past puddles,
through streams
and back to the sea.

Now it's your turn.  I challenge you to write yourself your own love poem.  If you blog about it, comment with your link, I'd love to read!  And whether you're married to the man/lady of your dreams, or hopelessly hopefully single, remember you are passionately, desperately loved by God.  He wrote you lots of love poems this is among my favorites.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Summertime and the Livin' is Healthy

Sometimes you need a little support.  A little cheering on, if you will.

I think my husband is smokin’ hot.  I just can’t bare the sad look he got when a pair of his jeans became too tight for him to put his hands in his pockets.  Ever since that day, this guy has been running THREE MILES a day.  At first when he told me he wanted to start eating healthier, I pretty much said, “Good luck with that,” while polishing off a third row of Oreos.  I weigh 113ish which is less than I’ve weighed since junior year of high school.  I have a fast metabolism that is a blessing and a curse.  I’m addicted to oreos, mountain dew, Cheetos, and ice cream.  The problem is, it affects my body weight zero.  I’d actually like to weigh a little bit more than I do.  But being a wife is about coming alongside Philip.  I want to encourage and support him.  So I came to my senses and made us a game plan.  Here’s how to help your husband eat healthy in five easy steps! 

1.  Drink water with meals instead of Lemon Kool Aid (when life gives you Kool Aid packets, make lemonade!)

2.  Swap out regular pasta for whole wheat.  We also changed up our tortillas and bagels and bread.  So many whole grains in this casa!

3.  Have salad for dinner once a week.  I’m kicking myself because I can’t remember which blog or pin lead me to this idea.  We are trying out this salad combo:  fresh spinach + fresh cabbage + cucumbers + bell peppers + hard boiled eggs + cheese.

4.  Perhaps the most pertinent to us, change our snacking habits.  That’s right I tossed the Cheetos and Mt. Dew.  Instead we’ve stocked up on pistachios, Sun chips, Wheat Thins, Graham crackers, ants on a log (vintage), yogurt chips, string cheese and fresh apples and oranges.

5.  Trade in your ice cream *sob* for smoothies.  Confession:  We still put a scoop (or two or three in my case) of vanilla ice cream in with frozen fruits and milk.  I think I’m totally to blame for this weight gain because I have gotten into the bad habit of eating ice cream almost every night.  Of course the hubs, not wanting me to feel like a fatty, always indulges with me.  Ideally, we could just cut this out but I think for now this is a good way to ease ourselves out of a bad habit.

There ya have it folks.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  I may be going through some major withdrawals.  Any other ideas for healthy eating?  Help us out health nut friends.    

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Moms in the Bible Part 1: Bread and Fish

John 6
English Standard Version (ESV)
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

6 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. 3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5  Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7  Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii[a] worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”

Have you read this story?  I’m guessing even if you don’t attend church regularly you have probably heard of the bread and fish thing.  It’s as common in Christian culture as church potlucks and WWJD bracelets.  I think sometimes we get desensitized to the stories we heard in Sunday school.  Same old, same old.  But wait, in this story Jesus takes five barley loves and two fish and feeds 5 thousand people!  It’s striking to me that Jesus could take something so small and use it to make a miracle.  I’m guessing that in that huge crowd there must have been others who packed a lunch.  Maybe even some who had more food than the boy?  But only the boy came forward to present his meager offering to the Messiah.  Perhaps the others looked at what little they had to offer and the gravity of the need and decided they could make no difference.  When I was helping at a Vacation Bible School, there was a lyric to a song we sang that made me cry almost every time.  (I know, embarrassing). It was about this story from the perspective of the child who says, “I’m sorry that there’s not more there,” after giving his little lunch.  And then (according to the sweet song) “Jesus just smiled, ‘I thank you my child.’”  I so often feel like that little boy.  Like, "Here’s what I have to offer Jesus, I wish it was more.  I wish it was grander than some bread and a couple of sardines."  I think Jesus smiles because he is pleased that we offer him whatever we have.  And also because Jesus knows that God can multiply our tiny offering and make a miracle with it. 

What does this have to do with Moms?  I think there is an unsung hero in the story.  The boy gets very little credit.  Of the many versions of this story throughout the gospels, he only shows up in one and is only referred to as “the boy.”  If I had to guess I would say there is someone involved who wasn’t even mentioned:  his mom.  Maybe it’s a stretch but if that boy is anything like kids or teenagers of today I’m guessing he didn’t think to pack his own lunch.  I’m guessing that his mama thoughtfully provided him with a meal.  So here she was just lovingly serving her son, the same way she always did, and Jesus used it to meet so many people’s needs—to make a miracle.  Let’s be real, who’s the one that taught him to be generous anyway?  Finally, all those times of forcing him to share, and sharing all that she had with him paid off.  The day after the miracle, Jesus uses the bread to share the gospel with these people, “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’“  So many people were cared for, got to witness a miracle, and heard the gospel of Christ in part because the little boy’s mom was doing her job--and doing it well.      

Have you ever felt like you didn't have enough to offer?  What small acts of service has your mama done that have made a big difference?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Moms in the B-I-B-L-E

Me and my mama

I’ve been thinking about Mamahood a lot.  Before I got married I was like, “Kids?  Eh, I could do without.”  Since getting married I’ve kind of gotten baby fever.  I want kids because they’ll be Philip’s kids.  I imagine cuties with his mannerisms and blue eyes.  And they are going to have the best dad around.  Don’t worry, no babies for a while.  Things don’t always go as planned, but our plan is to wait five years (almost down to four now) before having kiddos.  That being said, I’m trying to prepare myself now.  Philip and I dated (aka prepared for marriage) for 4 years before getting engaged.  Why not hone skills that will help me with that stage of my life starting A-Sap? 
 If there’s one part of the Christian life I’m really bad at it’s being a servant.  I know being a servant is almost synonymous with being a mom.  My mom gave us 110% even though she was also giving care and love to my dad, the students at her elementary school, and really everyone she came in contact with.  I’m just so feelings and people oriented that I often don’t see the value in tasks like cooking, cleaning, or changing diapers.  Some of my friends are great at this stuff.  Take Katrina, for example.  I went on Summer Project to Costa Rica with Katrina.  We were responsible for washing our own dishes at the quaint hostel where we lived.  I remember one time I saw her washing everyone else’s unwashed dishes and I came over and joined her.  I asked her what motivated her to serve.  She said, “Imagine a world where people saw needs and just met them, regardless of whose needs they were.”  Then there’s my husband:  one of the most selfless people I know.  He does dishes, laundry, takes the trash out, cooks me dinner without ever giving it a second thought.  So I’m trying to catch this vision.  Become more selfless.   Better understand the connection between tasks and love.  In order to help me have a vision for being a servant and being a mom, I want to take a look at some of the Moms in the bible.  Mainly to help myself, I’ll be posting about that for the next few days/weeks/whatever I feel like gawsh.    

Does being a servant come naturally to you?  Teach me your ways!  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Photo Safari

A bestie Nicole came to visit and we got some glorious girl time.  We're talking third grade sleepover status here.  We did eachother's hair and makeup, got Sbucks (have you checked out half-priced frappucino happy hour yet?  I'm a sucker for a good deal) and went on what she calls a "Photo Safari."  After picking the hubs up from work, he joined in the fun!

How are you celebrating the return of sunshine?

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Taylor Games

Isn't it beautiful when two of your obsessions come together?  That's how I feel about Taylor Swift and her songs about the Hunger Games.  Such a great marriage.

  Another combo I'm in favor of?  The Tay-Sway + The Civil Wars in that first song.  I love Hunger Games because 1.  It's Young Adult Literature.  Perhaps because I am a future English teacher and spend a lot of my time learning about teenagers I love books that fall under this category.  2.  It's Dystopian.  (for literature newbs that means the opposite of Utopia--a society in the future that has gone all wrong).  Dystopias are great because they let us experience a different world, help us think critically about issues in our society and the potential consequences of those issues, and because they tend to be borderline sci-fi (which is appealing to my inner nerd) 3.  It's got a little bit of everything:  romance, action, drama.  It's such a great story about persevering love (thank you Peeta), rebelling for a cause (thanks Katniss) and the value of human life.  Have you read or watched the movie?   Dddddoooooo it!
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