Monday, April 30, 2012

the outsiders

sometimes, i look out my back window and i see this:

and i have mixed feelings. if i were having a quiet night, the music and the sounds of kids' laughter and the smell of the barbecue would make me so upset. i would scoff at their fun and wish for their quiet.

but when i have friends over, and i can show them this fun addition, and the noise from their party just adds to the ambiance of ours, then i feel happy. and i'm glad there's other happy people out there having fun on a saturday evening.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Moment by moment

this has been in my draft folder for a few days. i figured there's no time like "grab a coffee and study with me" friday to post it.

last night i slept for 12 hours.

i fell asleep at 5:30, before husband even made it home from work, and slept solidly through the night. i evidently needed the rest, because i woke up feeling like a new woman. feeling strong, funny, confident. then the sink broke... and i acted like a jerk towards my husband. thus ended my fabulous morning, only 30 minutes in.

i cherish my good days, even my good mornings, because they just don't seem as frequent as i'm used to them being. i'm not depressed, i'm not sad, but i am in a season of life that is very challenging. i'm growing in my faith and in my role as woman and wife. thing is, it doesn't come easily. sure, it's comforting to stay where you are-- to choose the same things over and over, and hope the results don't change. but it isn't helpful in the long-term.

jesus calls us to carry our crosses to follow him. this doesn't mean just to struggle well. it means to leave our old lives and to live with and for him.

And he said to all, "if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?"
Luke 9: 23-25

and so, i take up my cross. i work every day, even every moment, to deny my thoughts of control and selfishness in order to be more christ-like.

my current cross is a difficult one. someone else said it best on their blog (that i can't find right now so please please tell me if it was you so I can properly credit you):

...{insert problem here} is a cross that takes one to the depth of what it means to be a creature and not the creator.

my biggest issue, control, comes from my desire to be even with, or even above, my creator. this is a strong reminder that i have control over nothing. that i'm just another one of god's magnificent creations in his awe-inspiring world.

not that it makes it any easier to struggle, but it does give me hope in my struggle.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

thankful thursday

taking a cue from bff and doing a photo-edition thankful thursday and taking some time off from my 1000 list.


new growth

a fun brother

bright easter top

this good lookin' man by my side

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

i'm trying to be brighter


mom would be proud.
i'm wearing more colors.
(she doesn't like that i usually wear jeans or khakis and a white or off-white top)

recently purchased:
coral handkerchief maxi dress, kohl's
green capris, old navy
pink capris, old navy
blue tank, old navy
purple tank, old navy

Monday, April 23, 2012

homemade laundry detergent

i recently tried my hand at homemade laundry detergent for the first time. i'd been hesitant to do it because i have some requirements when i clean my clothes:
1) they're clean
2) they smell clean

this does both. as an added bonus, you can leave some of it in a shallow dish on the counter and it absorbs odors while leaving a slight fresh scent. besides how well it works and how good it smells, another plus is that it only cost about $31 to make-- and it will last me for about a year and a half. that's right, a whopping 18 months.

recipe taken from howdoesshe. edited to read as i made it, without her commentary.

1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle.
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap, use the pink kind- Found in the detergent aisl
2 (2 lb) Boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle
1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- Found in the detergent aisle 

if you have a hard time finding things, go to walmart. i avoided it and tried to shop at two other stores (tom thumb and target), but walmart was the only store that had all of these items.

so simple to make! shred the zote soap either using a cheese grater or the food processor. i used the food processor. then i added about 1/4 of each ingredient, layering them, and stirring after each grouping. it makes it easier than adding all of everything and stirring it all. i've got it stored in a rubbermaid container in our closet, but what i'm using is in the purex bottle. it's a perfect size to keep some near the washing machine, and i'll just refill it with the bulk of it as it runs out.

when using this, you only need TWO TABLESPOONS to do a whole load. that's the middle line inside the lid of the purex bottle (see? another reason i'm using that to keep small amounts available).


Thursday, April 19, 2012

thankful thursday

247. worship music
248. beautiful april days
249. target that's close enough to walk to
250. holding husband's hand
251. planning vacations with friends
252. totino's pizza rolls
253. that i have a job
254. public transportation
255. new life
256. the truth
257. harry potter
258. the color green
259. productive days
260. reusable shopping bags
261. tv-free nights
262. tweezers
263. pre-marinated salmon
264. an early spring
265. reese's eggs
266. jello as a healthy dessert
267. sushi
268. cloth napkins
269. bleach 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

saturday love

it's great to start my day off lazy, before getting productive. coffee in a to-go mug (because all the normal ones were in the dishwasher) and reading blogs. 

after this, it was a bunch of errands, laundry, and making homemade laundry detergent-- more on that in a post later this week!

sneaking in sunday love here, too: lunch at zoe's after church.

then a walk near our house- on a trail shared by horses.

Monday, April 16, 2012

{little} letters

dear husband, thank you for praying the hard prayers, in the hard times.

dear best friend, thank you for being the best, especially when i'm not.

dear doctor, i know you're trying to help, but did you have to put me on a medicine that makes me an emotional wreck?

dear brother, you can't play draw something by writing words. it's a drawing game.

dear twitter, i'm sorry i left, but you became too facebook-happy for me.

dear coworker, thank you for also running a bakery. you saved me time on easter.

dear god, thank you for inventing rain. and chocolate. and hot tea. and 75 degree days. and fajitas. and naps. and worship music. and friends.

Friday, April 13, 2012

thankful thursday {on friday}

227. fresh baked wheat rolls
228. family for easter
229. dinner with friends
230. celebrating jesus rising from the grave
231. a clean home in 20 minutes
232. time to relax (and blog!)
234. hope
235. new makeup
236. hugs before bed
237. being a preparer
238.  a doggie all caught up on her shots
239... and scheduled for a dental!
240. bright spring clothes
241. my husband
242. chapstick 
243. hockey games and a husband who roots for pittsburgh
244. heartburn medicine
245. air conditioning
246. low electric bills thanks to landlord's energy saving tweaks 

Monday, April 9, 2012

things i don't like about pinterest

remember in the beginning, when i told you i wouldn't be snarky? only upbeat? here's my cheat day. i'm frustrated at the misuse of pinterest lately. it's not a photojournal. it's not instagram. it's not twitter. it's a place to organize links that are useful, like keeping all of your bookmarked sites available on one page, with pictures! so here's a little pinterest snark. sorry.

pinterest is not a place to post your "april photo a day" pics.

pinterest is not facebook. post photos of your dorm room somewhere else.

it's not a place for you to put your cake without a recipe. what if someone wanted to make it? i mean, i sure don't, but some poor sap might.

it's not random. your ozzy albums don't go in the food and drink section.

Source: via Brenda on Pinterest

pinterest IS a place to post recipes you've made

ideas for making homemade laundry detergent that actually smells good

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

and motivation

Thursday, April 5, 2012

thankful thursday

quite a few, since i've been MIA lately.

201. kind words from friends
202. the smell of coffee
203. enough time to prep snacks on sunday
204. morning cuddles
205. priorities
206. photo ops
207. extra spending money
208. rekindling friendships
209. finding god
210. busy work days
211. holidays
212. planning a honeymoon
213. husband who helps clean the kitchen
214. local veggie co-ops
215. phone calls with my brother
216. hope
217. the smell of vanilla
218. new cologne for husband
219. generous friends
220. early morning prayers
221. working through junk
222. a dad who sends nice morning texts
223. storms that spare loved ones
224. red wine
225. going to bed early
226. foot rubs

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

less of me

nope, that title's not an indication of what you've seen lately.
it's a goal of mine.
to be less.
so that god can be more.

i've been distracted lately.
i've been trying to fix things myself.
i've been over thinking everything.
i've been doing.

that puts me in charge, which is a disaster waiting to happen. i'm not good at running my life. well, i'm good depending on what my priorities are. you know who's better at running my life? god. that's legit, dude. so instead of being distracted, and fixing things, and over thinking, and doing... i need to stop. i need to rest. i need to reflect. i need to let god lead me.

so my prayer lately, my constant plea to god has been for him to fill me. for him to remove idols that i'm surrounding myself with, remove my control, remove my wants and replace it all with him. there are certain things i want, but the truth is that i want god more.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

stop and smell the aftershave

...or, a short list of things that are recommend to stay happy with your husband*.

1) change. really. i always want him to change. change his mind, change his attitude-- so that i'm right. but i'm usually wrong. and so adamant about it that i don't even realize that not only am i wrong, i'm rude about it. but i still expect him to be the one to change? that's an issue.

2) date him. when we were first dating, and i knew i was going to marry him, things were so great. life was cheerful, we were so kind to one another, we put the other's feelings before our own. then we got married. and selfish. so date! it's an easy way to be kind to each other.

3) be nice to him. when you do little things for him with a servant's heart, you have a harder time being upset with him. even if it's just making his lunch, i know he recognizes that i did that for him.

4) think about what you want to say and why you want to say it. then, more often than not, don't say anything. same rule applies when writing something down (i.e. email, text).

5) enjoy him. simply. enjoy the man he is, the man he's becoming, and the way he treats you. enjoy his heart and his hands and his gusto. enjoy him.

* i wrote this to us. not to you. and this doesn't mean we're having problems. only that being married means remembering things like this and making them habits, as hard as it seems. it's hard to be humble and it's not natural to put someone before yourself. so we work on it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

another wedding

i feel so honored to take photos of someone as pretty as lily.

i was invited to be a small part of her big day and i enjoyed every minute.

 but i think she enjoyed this day more than i did.