Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Privacy

So I finally announced my secret- I am 17 weeks pregnant! Jonah and I are thrilled and looking forward to meeting the little one.
On another note I am afraid I will have to make my blog more private. I received some spam a couple different times from some people out in the blog world, which I do not appreciate nor would I like anyone else sneaking in with there perversions to my little world, which includes photos I'm not comfortable having perverts see.
So my blog friends if you would like to continue reading my blog please send your email to me or post it on this latest post. I will add you to my blog list, which is a much more 'blocked' way of getting the spammers out.
I look forward to finally posting more details about this special time in our lives. I have kept it hidden, so we could surprise our families over Christmas with a special gift.
Looking forward to the future!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The night before the night before Christmas

So only two more nights til Christmas morning! I can hardly believe it's almost here. We wait all year for this special day and then it comes and goes so quickly!
Jonah and I went out to the bookstore tonight for our annual tradition (now it is anyways) of choosing a beautifully illustrated Christmas children's book. Last year, we bought The Gift of the Magi (illust. by PJ Lynch) and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (illust. by PJ Lynch as well) This year we picked up Winters Gift (illust. by Jane Donovan)which we have both read before and really enjoyed, and the illustrations are beautiful. Jonah pointed out that they are painted on canvas, as the texture gives it away.
Since we are both artists it's hard to buy a book that is not beautifully illustrated, since we love reading and enjoy some writing, it's hard not to buy a book without a thoughtful story, and since we are both designers, the typography has to be set nice, not huge oversized fonts in gaudy type, and because we are both Christians, the story has to be clean and appropriate and not Santa oriented.
So I guess we are particular....
But we will both enjoy these books for years to come and every year it's a special tradition to purchase another beautiful copy of a story that we will treasure. Someday we can read these together with our own kids, who hopefully will thoroughly enjoy the beautifully illustrated, well written books :) I can certainly see us pointing out why the pictures are so well drawn and painted! But we shall see...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Making memories

We have officially started our nice long 2 week break for Christmas. Augh, yes two whole weeks. Today was the first day at home and I was able to catch up on laundry, vacuum, and empty the dishwasher. Now I have plans for shrimp scampi for dinner. I spent a little time downloading our weekend pictures too. We went down to visit with Jonah's side of the family for the weekend, since the whole family (all the siblings) were in town. We'll head back to his parents for Christmas.
We all had a wonderful time together, and I was able to meet my brother in law's new girlfriend, whom we love! My sister in law and I already decided if they broke up we would keep her and send her Christmas cards! I do pray if it's right that they stay together :) It's always fun to add new 'sister's' to the family.
We ended up going to Stone Mountain Christmas Saturday night which was pretty chilly but fun. I took some photos of family and hanging out. Friday night we had dinner at Jonah's sister's house and gave gifts to the kids. That was fun, to watch them get excited about their gifts. We went low key with gifts and stayed within our budget but we picked things we knew they would like. I love watching others open up
something I know they'll like, it's almost more exciting than receiving a gift yourself!
Now I'm back in our little home relishing in the fact I don't have to go anywhere, that I can go out tomorrow. Jonah is out shopping for me- finishing up his Christmas list. I told him I don't need anything else, he already bought me a couple things. But I certainly won't twist his arm :)
I am looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas, and I'm looking forward to remembering and reading the Christmas story. It's been a wonderful blessing filled year, and I love that we can wind down and savor these special days. Family is truly the best gift of all, apart from what our Lord gave us- His Son. I really do miss my side of the family as they gather in various parts of the country, but I'm warmed in the heart that we all love each other and will be thinking of one another across the miles, until the next time we can get together.
Here are a few photos of family and memories:



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Break list

Well it is nearly that time of year again- Christmas break.
With this break so close I am thinking ahead to how many things I can get accomplished over the 2 week break (yeah 2 whole weeks!) My list feels long in my mind and I don't want to go into the break having done nothing but relax. Although that is also on the list.
No with such a big chance to do so much I thought I would write my list here so that I can be accountable to the blog world if not myself. It's so funny that I went into this season with so many plans to do so many big things- like mounds of Christmas baking and homemade gifts. Design projects I could make for family, a decked out home for the holidays...
Well I may not have been able to do everything but I'm not discouraged in that. I have been able to just enjoy our tree glowing in the evening, the occasional popped corn to munch on, holiday music in the car, and the Christmas specials that come on tv. I've also been able to attend two Christmas concerts- actually 3 counting our church Christmas cantata. Gifts are almost all wrapped, and that feels pretty good.
Back to my list though, here goes for the upcoming break:
Thoroughly dust and vacuum (including under the bed where it's very sneezy)
Take apart our art room/studio and reorganize, donate and clean. Phewww that will be a big project for us, we have bins of things we need to clean out and get rid of all the things we don't use.
Purchase storage bins for the art studio.
Purge, purge, purge, closets and pantry/cupboards.
Change out shower curtain. (ah, a nice small task)
Drop off all give away items to goodwill.
Drop off all sellable items to consignment.
Create goals for my shop, including project goals, and when I will post items.
Purchase matching albums and organize photos into them.
Read.
Put away tree and decor.

I think that is about it. I can think of many creative items I would like to add to the list, but that can overwhelm me for some reason. I think always being creative can drown you if you don't funnel the tasks into obtainable goals.
I have a lot of things I enjoy such as illustrating, writing and designing children's things. I just haven't been back to these hobbies in a while. Maybe I will revisit them over the break?
I'm wondering if anyone else has a list this long waiting for them to tackle?
I'm going to pray for this list and ask God to help me accomplish some of it...I know it's a big list. And wouldn't it be grand to get it all done? Even I know myself well enough to know that is probably not going to happen. But it's nice to make some goals!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy thoughts

We had the priviledge of seeing Chris Tomlin and Louis Giglio this past Saturday night in a Christmas concert. Chris sang beautifully and Lois spoke- which was amazing.
His message was centered on the birth of Christ. I know we have heard this story, and we read it every year around this time, if not on the day of Christmas.
But this time I heard it, it was different.
I can't express quite how different it was. But it was a good different. The kind that made you think of that night in so much detail that it brought you to tears to think about what Jesus did for us. I haven't heard a message so good, and so relevant about Christmas in a long time.
I think I may post more about it on another time. I just know I don't want to forget, like we tend to do.
We also attended our last Finacial Peace University class! Thirteen weeks of sessions done already! I can't believe we are done, we really enjoyed the class overall. Especially last nights session. It was about giving. The stories we heard were so moving, about people being able to give financially. One story was about a couple that had about $10,000 of debt left. To make a long story short, God provided another couple out of the blue that actually wrote the check for their remaining debt, allowing them the opportunity to adopt (which is what they wanted to do when they were out of debt). The story was one of those 'wow' ones, where you can't even imagine what it's like to be that financially able to give so generously.
Jonah and I both loved this session as I think the biggest thing we would love to be able to do is give more. We are able to give a little, but to be able to help someone else in such a mighty way is amazing. The other message of the night was about being a steward of what we have. I think paying off debt is a great thing, because it allows you to be used by God- distributing what is already His. We are simply watching it for Him. What a mighty responsibility that is.
Just a few thoughts from me as we head into the holiday season. Hope everyone has a wonderful week, walking with the Saviour.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our tree with the tall topper

O Christmas tree

Well we finally finished trimming our tree! It was kind of a three stage process this year. We bought our tree, set it in the stand and let it drink in water for several days. Next we added the lights one evening with Christmas music playing and chomping on popped popcorn (from our fabulous air popper) then let it sit for several days. Then finally with all of our Christmas boxes out of storage we decorated it last night :)
It's lovely as always and I took a picture I will load later. After 4 wonderful years of marriage we have developed one special tradition- special being the key word! One year we decided not to trim down the top (the tall pointy part) and just put our star on top. It looked so funny up there we got a good laugh out of it and never took the star down to trim it. Since then we have searched for trees with tall toppers that will proudly display our star high up top! A good foot up top. So our star is perched up there proudly and once again made me laugh so hard last night.
Strange tradition perhaps to some, but to us it's special only to us.
Now we're ready for Christmas!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Savoring the Holidays

I've been so caught up in getting things done, and scratching off my imaginary list that I somehow forgot to slooowww downn, this time of year. Every year I love this time- the magical, wonderful part of the year when we remember what our Lord did for us all those years ago, the infectious spirit of giving, the remembrance of all we have (and how abundantly blessed) in our lives. Before you know it Christmas is here, then it's done. Just like that I seem to let time slip by and I am left with a somehow empty handed, empty hearted feeling.
I don't want to feel that way- I don't want this time to slip by and miss the chance to do something for another, to savor the holiday music, to turn off the t.v., turn up the tunes, and enjoy decorating for the season. Really savor time with those I love, cherish the time together with Jonah- because who knows what next year will bring? It will be different, in it's own way.
And I don't want to miss the now, the memories of each day that this year is bringing.
So my plan for now is not to hurry around and shop for the last Christmas gifts, filled with worry that I can't find the 'perfect' thing- but to slow down and savor what this holiday brings.
Thanking Jesus for how truly blessed we are in every area of our lives. Listening to holiday tunes with my sweetheart, popping some corn and drinking cocoa. Wrapping the gifts with a purpose and taking my time. Remembering and praying for each person the gifts are going to. Taking time to just enjoy the Christmas lights, the decor that is all around us. And loving those close to me- the precious people God has given to me.
Let me not miss the moments Lord.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cereal Savings


We had a nice night together, my dear husband and I. We went on a date! We had some Chic-fil-a, watched a movie (the Blind Side) which was really good, then on our way home headed to Krogers, a local grocery store.
Why stop there? Because I had coupons!
I've recently gotten into couponing, to save us money, and help with our budget. Food can be- well IS, so expensive. Coupons are a great way to save some money, but they are also a way to use sales to your advantage- not the stores.
I really got into couponing after talking to some ladies at work who are gung ho about it. Their the serious ones- the one that save 50% on their groceries, the ones who constantly take home 'free' food. I think they've inspired me to try harder. And why not? To save us money, and help us have more food stocked up?
I'm not going to turn into a fanatic mind you, but I have to tell you about a sale we recently had at Kroger. It was a sale on cereal- Kellog's brand. The store offered a 50% off special for today on select Kellog's brand cereals. I know it's not the healthiest choice, but I like to eat it when were rushed in the morning or a snack at night. So back to the sale- they had a sale for 50% off, my friend at work told me about a coupon online for $5 off when you buy 4 boxes of Kellog's cereal. Well on top of printing that coupon and having other Kellog's coupons in my coupon file, we really made out. The only thing I was concerned about was the 4 w/$5 off because it was actually a Target coupon. (did you know Target even has coupons?) Well, it said manufacturers coupon which I read should apply to any store, and if the cashier fusses at you talk to a manager. So we get in line with our 7 ( yes SEVEN) boxes of cereal- the 4 for $5 and three others I specifically had coupons for around .75 cents off, and waited for the cashier to ring up our coupons. (all this with the 50% off deal) Well the cashier gets to the Target one and say's "um this is Target", and I say, "yes, but it's a manufacturers coupon", pointing to the little part that says just that. He kind of mumbled and said "well I'll see if the system will take it". To which , thank the Lord, it did.
Altogether we walked away with 7 boxes of cereal for $7.62.
Wow, we've never had cereal for so cheap! I felt like we somehow won the system!

Friday, November 20, 2009

One of our Christmas shots


Well, we finally took our Christmas card photo last weekend, and after several attempts we ended up having several we liked.
Not too bad for self timer and running to get in the photo :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I can be blonde

I can be an airhead sometimes. Well at least once everyday :)
On our drive into work this morning we passed a brand new sign that was built in our town. It has messages of local events displayed on it. Today it said "Free dinner for all vets on Veterans Day at the Community Center". I thought- but not very long- and said to Jonah, "that's a small group of people- veterinarians only?"
Jonah said, "that's Vets, as in veterans of war".
Really? I can't believe myself sometimes!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009


I received an inquiry about one of my items today in my Etsy inbox. She had mentioned that she found it through a different blog. I was curious to know who, so she sent me the website. To my surprise I found my work on an entirely 'stranger' site, I don't know who this is but I was thrilled to have been found! Plus if it brings in another order, how great, and unexpected is that? Here is the link to the site: http://mymomshops.blogspot.com/index.html

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Morning

I haven't written in a while it seems. Lovely fall is flying by all too quickly here. Jonah and I had an unexpected blessing of doing a photoshoot this past Sunday afternoon. We did a family portrait session outside in the beautiful colors. It was a nice little extra for us, financially, that we weren't counting on. Everytime we do photo sessions I always tell myself'"I could do this" as in a career. But who knows if we will go that route one day? I just really enjoy it.
The weekend before we did a photoshoot of our friends new little girl. It's always fun working with teeny tiny infants as they don't really do too much, you kind of pose them or take them as they are. So I've been busy editing photos in the evenings. I wanted to post a couple here, but I'll have to do that maybe tonight or soon this week. I also took a few shots of our leaves here, the golden red shades that light up the trees. The colors are just so breathtaking, I am so thankful God gives us fall each year to see all the splendor. It makes me marvel in His creation, and my mind goes heavenward to what kind of beauty we will see there, I can't even imagine. Do you suppose it will look anything like the beauty of earth?
But I've been busy at work, just plotting along. I arrive pretty early and it's hard for me, since I'm really not a morning person. I get to greet a lot of people as they come in and it's the biggest challenge for me, since I can be such a grump. Truly I'm trying to learn how to overcome myself and not be a sourpuss. Boy it sure is hard when other people are cheerful morning people!
I remember growing up, my dad was and has always been an early riser, and a huge morning person. Poor dad, he was the only one I think in our family of 6. My sisters and my mom never really had the energy and enthusiasm as he did (still does) in the wee hours.
Now I miss him and wish I could hear his happy greetings on some of these mornings, he did make me smile after all. It always makes me wonder how people wake up like that!
But anyways onto starting my day, hope everyone has a marvelous middle of the week day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

bozo the clown below us

A little tired today.
Last night our bozo drunken neighbors below us kept us up- well kept waking me up with loud banging around and noisy friends. Once I woke up it woke Jonah up, and the result is little sleep. So onto that search for a new place, a bigger one, a more quiet one, a relatively low rent one, and that's what we are praying for. And soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

happy birthday

I am reminded this week of God's goodness in our lives. One of my favorite quotes is "Where God guides He provides" and I find myself revisiting that quote in our lives. It's fall! And today is Jonah's birthday! I love this time of year, for the fabulous cool weather-hot cocoa-sweater wearing- season. Jonah is lucky to have a fall birthday :) But I count it a blessing that God chose him for me and I cherish our marriage and our days together.
As we continue to search for a new place to live, I know God will provide the perfect place at the perfect time and I'm excited to see what He has for us. I am also just excited to see how the next few months work out as I think about holiday plans and Christmas shopping and all those things that go by all too quickly this time of year!
I just want to step back and really enjoy everyday as we roll into the new year. This is such a special time of year, where you can celebrate the birth of our Lord and count your blessings.
Happy birthday to my wonderful, loving, compassionate, adoring husband. Have a special day sweetheart!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pray for Nic

I wanted to share a prayer request for our Youth Pastors little boy Nic. We love our youth pastor and his family and are so thankful for their love and ministry with the teens at our church. About six months ago or so Nic started experiencing medical issues with his intestines. After many months of physical issues and rounds of medicine he was diagnosed with colitis. Nic is only 9 years old, and he is our youth pastor's second child, with one other daughter.
As of about a week ago Nic had to be admitted to the hospital due to the extremity of his condition. The doctor's don't want to let him leave until they see definite improvement. If you know anything about this disease, it's not easy to deal with for even an adult. Let alone a young child. Nic has truly been a trooper throughout this and his parents have as well, although I know it's hurting them and discouraging to not be able to do anything for him. I just wanted to ask for prayer for this sweet little boy and his family.
God is good, and I know He is in control of this situation. Sometimes though when you are on the outside looking in it's difficult to know what to do for others. But I know I can pray and pray and pray! I'm so thankful for my God that listens!!
Nic is still in the hospital and has been given several different medications that could potentially cause an infection if they react negatively. The hope is that they make this colitis go into remission, so that Nic won't have to have surgery- the end result. Surgery means removal of his large intestine.
If you happen upon this blog I ask for you to pray for him and his family. God can heal, and provide the grace we need to get through these valleys in life.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

flooding






















So many are not aware of this, but Monday we had a tremendous amount of flooding here in GA. It had been raining for several days, but on Monday it was like the floodgates of heaven poured out on us. Because of this the abundant amount of water built up and collected in areas all across GA. Above are some crazy pictures I gathered from one of our news channels, to show the damage and devastation caused by the water. Pray for those who lost their homes, and those that suffered some damage from the rain. It is said that this is one of those floods we receive every 100 years or so. My husband and I are fine, and suffered no damage where we live, but the roads around us were closed Monday- I think there were around 96 roads closed, and 17 counties declared in a state of emergency by the governor. School was out for us yesterday, so we were home (yeah!) but also mindful of those that were trapped at home. Roads washed out, homes flooded, one school was completely flooded up to the ceiling (see pic. above, it's the flat looking building where all you can see is the roof), our Six Flags park had flooding (see the roller coaster pic) the interstates were even flooded. Metro Atlanta had some crazy flooded road pictures, I couldn't find one to post, but if you look at our local news here, there are tons of pictures.
Please keep our neighbors here in prayer as we dry out,praise the Lord for some sunshine today!






Monday, September 14, 2009

Books on nutrition

A fellow blogger friend asked me if I recommend any books on nutrition and health. I wanted to suggest a few for those interested. One book that I picked up at the library (and just recently reserved again for pickup) is a really interesting and thorough read about nutritious foods that are 'super' as well as overall health tips, called SuperFoods Healthstyle by Steven Pratt. I looked up his name on Amazon and found he's written several books. Very good resource, but keep in mind it's a thick one, so take what you can, and like me, you may need to reserve it a few times at the library.







Another book I like I actually own. It's a fabulous book with some really yummy recipes and I have yet to try so many of them. But I have found it to be a pretty good read with helpful content and lovely pictures and it's designed really well (always a HUGE plus for me the design nerd). It is called Body Foods for Busy People:
















And while I am not there yet, she also has two more books for babies and kids that look fabulous:
You may be able to find these by Jane Clarke at the library- I'd try there first, then Amazon. I know I ended paying premium price (I almost never buy books at full price, I like to shop for deals or use coupons at book stores) for my copy of Body Foods, but in the end it almost made me more determined to utilize it all the more. I'll try to include any more books if I find time to peruse some. I really do enjoy learning about what is good for me, and it can be kind of nerdy I know, but to me it's so interesting learning about what foods have in them and what they do to you. Did you know eating spinach can help lift your mood? Plus, it's loaded with vitamins and fiber that are oh so important for you. Blueberries are another great super food full of antioxidants- great for cold and flu season.
It's so much fun and a little empowering when you realize what foods do to you!
Happy reading, I hope this helps!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thoughts on nutrition

My dear sister is embarking on a new journey- that of good health and good food choices. I am proud of her for making this decision. It's something that is close to my heart since I too have been on this road for a little while. It is definitely a choice you have to come to on your own, no amount of pushing or prodding from anyone else can make you decide to be healthier. I think for me it was the way I felt, hormonally as well as physically. I mentioned a while back that I had suffered from different health problems, which with different options in food, corrected some of these issues for me. Exercise also aided in helping me achieve a healthier, feeling better lifestyle. And when I let one of those areas go it is certainly reflected in how I feel and act.
My sister's post was titled 'Learning how to eat' and I can relate to that. It is truly learning how to eat- correctly.
The more I learn about what is healthy for us and what foods do to us, I am appalled at the food that we as a general mass go to for our meal choices. The preservatives, salt, sugar and processed content in most meals is enough to make your head spin. For some reason, from the days of Moses to our time in history we have developed these fast, easy foods that are basically of no nutritional value. Then we wonder why we are suffering from so many disorders, and pains and diseases.
I guess it's been a huge awakening to me over the past year. Granted I am not where I would like to be as far as our meal choices. In a perfect world we would have an unlimited budget and be able to afford everything organic, or as natural as we can get, and all of our meals would be from scratch.... But I have to work with what we have to the best of my ability. I believe this is what God has given me responsibility for in our home.
I do make mostly all of our meals- maybe not all from scratch, but I read what and why the foods I pick will be in our meals.
Okay I think I can go on and on, it's a topic I am passionate about. Not to say I am a natural- granola- earth loving- tree hugger. No way, I am just conscientious of our diet, and overall health. I think this is being a good steward not only in our budget, but our lives.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Creation by the Creator

Last night we had some weird channel on the tv while we both worked on different computers- I think it was the history channel. A channel we usually don't watch, but somehow it ended up there droning on in the background. It caught my attention when this lady scientist came on talking about the earth, and of course how it was millions of years old...and I just looked up and almost laughed. I still cannot fathom how scientists claim all of these false almost juvenile assumptions about the earths creation. They (atheistic scientists) try to push their theories on the public, and just looking in the Bible this morning, I am reminded again of how the earth came about. So simple, so true, and my heart smiles. I am so in awe of how God created everything into existence, and how detailed He is. Creation is amazing to say the least. It's phenomenal. Just looking at our sun this morning, I stopped to think how it is a star floating in space, and how their are so many stars that size just farther away...it makes my mind spin to start thinking of the largeness of space and how everything is held in place. I cannot understand how others seem to think everything just suddenly existed...
These verses encouraged me this morning, I'm so thankful God is our Creator!

Proverbs 8:27-32
When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meal planning?

I woke up late this morning and had too much to do in the small amount of time before we left for work. That is so frustrating. I get mad at myself for not allowing enough time, because it not only affects me but Jonah as well. So we ran late this morning.
In my frustration and grumpiness, I made breakfast, trying to provide enough protein in Jonah's diet since this is a workout day.
I have been cooking everynight at home, and in the mornings more since eggs have so much protein in them. It's about time to go grocery shopping again, and I am so tired of mentally thinking through a meal every night, as well as breakfast, so I decided to make a list for shopping (which I usually do) but to also make a meal plan for the next week.
I have a question for anyone that can help- Is there a good meal plan out there that I can download or print? Do you have one that you really think works well for you that you would be willing to share? I searched online but didn't find anything significant, there are many sites that require a 'login' and then turn out to be only "this amount of money"...that is irritating to me because it feels like a trick.
I would love to be able to be more organized without feeling overwhelmed right from the beginning and without taking three hours every week to think through meals.
I made a list last night of two different groups of food that I want to include in our diets. So there is my starting point. Tonight I will actually create recipes for dinners, then breakfasts. Then I'll make a grocery list.
I guess I get easily discouraged when it comes to this, because I haven't found a method that I have found to be dummy proof and efficient. I am a very no-nonsense, don't waste my time, kind of gal, and I strive to find the best solution in everything I do. If I find myself spinning my wheels it usually frustrates me and makes me abandon my original purpose....
So here is my plead for help! Anyone?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New work

So after I posted my challenge I found a lovely surprise in my Etsy inbox. I had a request from a fellow etsy shop wondering if I would consider doing some freelance work for her? Oh and she also wanted one of my items, made to order in her color palette.
Can I do freelance? Well of course! I am so excited about this little job, and that I am creating something that is right up my alley- a fun, illustrated, modern palette. It will help build a little more in that very large piggy bank for my Nikon.
I also pondered this morning how the Christian life is exciting for the very reason God gives us what we need as we need it. Kind of like mannah, in the Bible. The excitement comes when you realize it is from God and it is just what I needed right now and that thought makes me all the more thankful for it.
Now onto being creative...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

my challenge






















Isn't it lovely?
This is the Nikon D90.
And it's my challenge.
This is the camera I want for my very own. And after much thought I have decided that I am going to work to save up for it. I have no idea how long it will take me....maybe I will give myself a deadline. But all I know is I am going to find a way to somehow purchase this lovely camera. It's a personal challenge as there are many other things my husband and I are trying to accomplish financially. So anything for this will truly be from extra work I search out. I have some small opportunities that I can pursue, and I think it will add a little money towards this. But I am also going to pray for this, because with this camera comes opportunity to pursue a passion of mine, and with that passion comes a different road in my life, who knows where this will go? I think it's so important to pursue what you are passionate about!
I'm so excited, this is DAY ONE of my own challenge and my current $ towards this is small, but it will grow....all in due time it will grow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This morning I am so thankful it's Wednesday, for the fact that it's HALFWAY through the work week. I don't remember being this tired for so long at the start of the school year. Since the kids came back oh- exactly two weeks ago, you would think I would have been used to the whole getting up earlier for work, especially since all staff and teacher were back a whole week prior to the kids. I'm not sure what the deal is with me lately...
But I suppose working out makes me a little more tired, getting home later on a couple nights. We have been busy the past couple weekends too. It makes the week a little more tiring when you don't get some recuperation time over the weekend.
But tonight is church, and on Wednesdays we help with the youth group. We are breaking into to new small groups tonight with each youth leader taking several kids into a small group, to review the nights message handout, and to just get to know the kids needs and whats going on with them. The intent is to provide accountability with their own walk with the Lord, keeping faithful with devotions. It's an accountability factor to me too as an adult. How hard it is to make that time alone with the Lord. And I know it should be my first priority.
Please pray for the kickoff meetings tonight to go well, and for the 9 weeks or so to be a huge time of growth, spiritually for all them tonight.
I hope you all have a blessed day, and make time to wink at the love of your life :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

FPU

I know my posts have been few and far between and without any pretty pictures too. So I wonder who out there is reading this faithfully, but it doesn't really matter I suppose. I do enjoy the journaling all the same.
This weekend flew by all too quickly! I had a good college friend come visit us and she brought her new little dog with her. I grew up with animals all throughout my childhood so I would consider myself to be an animal lover, but since I have been married we have never had animals. In our little apartment it makes more sense. To say the least, having her little dog there made the experience somewhat of an eye opener...I love my friend and we had a great time visiting together, but I realized waiting on having animals really isn't all that bad!
I did do a little photoshoot with her and her dog- Emma. I will have to post a picture or two in the near future.
We also visited a local church that is offering Financial Peace University (FPU). Since we have already read through The Total Money Makeover, we are pretty familiar with a lot of the budgeting and things that I'm sure will be covered in FPU. But this course offers a more in depth approach in finances and investing which we are both excited about. It's a 13 week course and we will start our first class on the 20th. We are both such Dave Ramsey fans after going through TMM, I'm excited about this course!
Well it's another busy work week, so I better get cracking. Happy Monday morning.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

nutrition

My it's been a while since I've posted. I guess we have busy. Well I know we've been busy. School started back and that alone has kept us working away from morning til evening. On top of that I was recovering from my dental surgery. I ended up needing more pain medication after the bliss of the first round wore off...I'm not a big advocate of medicine in general because it usually effects me so strongly, but it was more pain and grumpiness than I cared to deal with. So after two days of pain meds I was finally feeling better and able to handle regular food instead of the soft diet. I think that made my week tiring, along with the pile of projects and deadlines that seem to grow in a few days time back at work.
But we have also made some healthy lifestyle changes. We met with one of our trainers who is also a nutritionist and discussed ways to improve our eating habits. We have been working out pretty consistently and are ready to move into the nutritional side as well.
We kept a food diary for three days to record when and what we ate, and shared that in our appointment. It was pretty amazing to see how little protein we have incorporated into our diet, as well as fats- good fats. Breaking down food into three groups, fats, carbs, and protein is what will help with meal plans. We all need some of each in every meal, but the right quantities. Our goals are a little different than some, opting to gain a little weight along with overall strengthening. A lot of people need to lose weight, fortunately we are both high metabolism people.
It's a new challenge for both of us and we are excited to take it on. I have had an increasing interest in general health and nutrition of the past few years so I'm excited to finally embark on it along with Jonah! I realized in the past I couldn't make him be excited and go for it with me, so it was kind of hard to get on the bandwagon. Now we are both making this decision together, which is pretty awesome.
The human body is amazing, and learning about what it needs to repair and regenerate itself is mind boggling. I never realized how much your moods and hormones can be effected by lack of complex food groups in your body. We need to take care of our bodies, but doing so reaps so many rewards in overall health.
I'll let you know if I discover anything significant, or maybe you would rather not hear about all this nutritional stuff. I just find it fascinating.
Now onto exercise. Sigh, no one ever said it was easy, but I know I will benefit from it in the long run.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day after, it's over!

Surgery went really well yesterday. The only pain I felt was from the IV needle. After that all I remember is them telling me to sleep well and when I woke up it would be over. Which is exactly what happened. It's amazing how quickly the anesthetic knocked me out....that with laughing gas and a valium! I truly felt the prayers of fellow Christians surrounding me. I had asked several people to pray for me, including fellow bloggers. Thanks to those that did. Ever since I knew I needed this surgery ( 9 months ago or so ) I dreaded it. So here I am the day after and I'm amazed at how well I feel. Granted I am on some drugs right now....I still feel a lot better than I anticipated. I guess the mind plays tricks on you sometimes, always going to the worst case scenario. So I am home now relaxing away the Saturday afternoon, and thankful I was able to get this done over a weekend, so we will be ready to head back to work Monday.
Jonah, my dear sweet husband has been so helpful and considerate. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have been able to eat or get home yesterday. The medicine knocked me out so strongly. I had to eat before taking pain medicine, so he prepared food for me and helped me eat...Such a loving and gentle husband. He takes care of me like a prince!
I love him and thank God for such a wonderful man to be by my side.
Thanks Blogger friends for your prayers and thank you Lord for your presence.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Surgery today

It's so early. Around 5:45 here. I set my alarm for 5:30 this morning so that I would be sure to get up and eat and drink some of my delicious coffee. I just finished my second slice of toast and I'm nursing my oversized cup of coffee.
It's surgery day. Finally almost a year later...well not quite. I am having my dental implant today. It sounds really funny if I tell people I am having an implant. And only one too. I have to admit I am nervous about all the things that could happen. Please pray for me today as I go in at noon. I am reminded of the verses in Psalm that say Fret not. How I need to remember that today. As well as...Fear not for I am with thee...
I will probably be out of it, unfortunately for the afternoon and evening. I will be put out during the surgery itself and it will last about an hour. Sigh. Looking forward to it being over already. But I am thankful they had this appointment available since the kids come back to school next week, we wanted to get this over during a down time in the school year. So with a brave face I am thinking of my surgery and how it will go. I'm so thankful I have the Lord with me, the Creator of the Universe, by my side.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

girl print

I created a new print today, thanks to the suggestion of a fellow etsy member. Girl themed, I am interested to see how this one will do in my shop.

It's nice to add a checkmark to something in my ever-growing list. I have many more ideas waiting to come out, with time.
Today I spent the day at home with my hubby. He hurt his back last night during a volleyball game with friends. I was home with him helping in any way I could. He will probably go to our chiropractor tomorrow, please pray for his back to heal quickly as school is starting this week- well for teaching staff anyways.
It was kind of nice to just be still and quiet with him today-something we don't really do a lot of. We had some Christian music on and we just laid together and 'napped' for a little while. I can't really sleep with music or any noise, so I just enjoyed the quiet togetherness, while listening to the quiet praise music. It was really nice, and it made me wonder why we don't take more time like that together, simply letting the 'must do's' of every day life creep in and steal our time, our thoughts, our days. I had my own devotions and really just tried to keep my heart open and ready for listening to Him.
My heart lately has had a desire to know Him more. Really take time to get to know Him more. It's too easy and monotonous to let someone else tell you all about Him. I think God seeks a personal intimate relationship with us and it's up to us to seek Him out. He is always there ready and waiting. Kind of makes me tear up almost to think about that. How many times have I turned from Him, and He so lovingly takes me back every time.
Jonah spoke this past Wednesday for youth group and his message was about the prodigal son, and how in the end his father continued to take him back regardless of all that the son went through- the selfishness, the worldliness. It was really a great reminder to me, and just what I needed to hear again. How forgiving our Father is. How loving He is. How unfailing He is. I do want to strive to not make the same mistakes over and over again, but I can rest in the peace and knowledge that I am forgiven and will be forgiven for my sins that I fall into again- much like potholes in the walk of life. Have a wonderful Sunday fellow readers and writers alike!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

photo shoot with family














It's been a long time since I've written, I know. I have been busy at work, home and with everything in between. We had a great July so far! I can hardly believe the summer is nearly over. School starts up in merely two weeks already! We went to visit Jonah's family a couple weeks ago, and while we were there did a little unexpected photoshoot. I kind of tried to avoid using the camera for the fact that I always take soooo many pictures and I dread going through them all, editing and saving. Well, maybe not dread, just know it's going to take a lot of time. So my goal in shooting is always to set my exposures as nearly perfect as I can...including lighting, temperature, aperature, shutter speed, while doing all this quickly. It's a challenge to shoot groups of people. Children are probably a little easier than older kids and adults though, due to their unguarded expressions. I always try to keep things as unposed as possible. Maybe it's the artist in me, or the photographer in my blood that craves originality and emotions in their truest form. I love capturing expressions because they make up who you are. I think I'm getting a little better at all my settings on the camera- which is great. I always shoot in manual mode so that I don't rely on anything automatically telling me how to do something. I like how these photos came out in the long run, after sifting through so many others. They are of my niece and nephews on Jonah's side, two of his dear grandparents. I do so love seeing the end product even if it takes time to get there! I have to also note there are two taken by Jonah, they are of our nephew at 10 months, on the tree swing. They came out lovely :) He is such a creative and amazing photographer, and has been my teacher. Without him I wouldn't have learned how to shoot so well manually, and with the Nikon we use. Thanks honey for always being such a loving patient teacher!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back in town

Well, we made it back and I am back at work today! What a great week we had with my family in NY. I met my newest little nephew who is such a sweet little chunk! I love it when babies are chunky with their little rolly legs and arms! A good sign of a healthy baby :)
I always feel sorry for babies that are thin, I feel like they may break.
But it was so nice to visit them all in the summer. Even though summer there was maybe in the 70's. Quite a change in weather compared to hot GA. It's so green there though! They have been getting a lot of rain and it shows in the lush landscape. I took lots of pictures. So many I will be making CD's for my mom and sister. I loaded some to facebook and I may put a few on here. It's just so time consuming to load on different web sites! But we made some great memories together. Some of the best are the times we spent just talking around the table, the campfire, and sharing things in our lives. My mom kept saying "Things aren't important, people are", and I have to agree with her about that.
I also wanted to share my story of provision on our trip there and back.
We arrived at the airport in ATL already checked in online and we just needed to check our luggage in and right when we turned to leave, the clerk told me my license was expired. I haven't even looked at the date on my license in years, because I thought I had years until it expired! Apparently it expired on my birthday weeks ago! So she said it was up to the airport security as to whether they would let me go through or not. I was so nervous that I wouldn't make it, but I had prayed for our day and for the whole trip to go smoothly. And guess what? No one else noticed the expired date, not through security check in or on the way home. Thanks be to our God who protected and provided for us! I felt He allowed us to take this trip anyways, it wasn't really something we sat down and planned for ourselves, so I feel there was a reason we ended up visiting my family this summer. I am so thankful I serve a God who cares so much about the littlest details in my life, as well as the big things!
Overall the trip was a good time to renew my spirit and slow down to the quiet country life, if only for several days. Just sleeping at night was so different, with the window open to the country air, it was so quiet outside. We live in a busy area so it's quite different!
I hope everyone celebrated the fourth with family and friends. We went to see a beautiful firework display in NY, it was so much fun. Jonah even took pictures that came out really nice.
I better get back to it for now, halfway through the week already and I just started!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane

Well I am pretty much exhausted. After work today we had our personal training session and we focused on upper body strengthening....I am so weak! Wow it was a workout! But after that we drove over to a friends house to pick up a dresser and shelf he was giving away since he was moving. I have to stop and say thank you to Jesus for that. I had been praying for a dresser and since we are working away at becoming debt free I almost felt guilty for praying for it. I never expected God to answer in this way: We were at lunch with a friend from work who is leaving/moving out of town and he asked if we would be interested in some furniture one of them a dresser. I was like....are you kidding me? I said sure! And so we drove over and loaded up the stuff. Granted it may not be the fanciest, shiniest, modern dresser, but it's a dresser! What a blessing it will be to use it! I think we are going to paint or refinish it.
But it was funny to pick it up after our upper body workouts, since our arms were soo very tired, then we had to hike up three flights of stairs on top of it. So all that mixed with making dinner and packing for our flight out tomorrow leaves two very exhausted but excited people :)
We fly to NY tomorrow for vacation! I'm so excited to meet my new nephew Jack, and take some pictures of him too! I am excited to see my family again too! What a treat to see them during the middle of the year!
We are not shooting a wedding as we had originally planned, but God knew better for us for reasons we may not know, and I am thrilled we have this unexpected vacation when once again we weren't planning one this year for the sake of money. What a bonus blessing!
So we can just relax while we are there and enjoy quality time together. Please pray for us as we travel as it always makes me nervous flying!
I may not post for a little while, but who knows I may find time to boot up my parents computer :)
Have a wonderful and happy fourth of July! What a privilege to celebrate the freedom of our country!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

new item for itsybitsy!

I created some new art prints for my shop. I decided (with a boost from Jonah) to try and sell some art that is low in cost and a little more generic. This way I can keep some prints here ready to ship out when someone places an order. I debated offering personalization to them but decided it would be easier to have something a little more generic for everyone. I love how they came out. What do you all think?




Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For toddlers


Every now and then I come across great ideas for children- in my constant research of the 'baby' market. I thought I would share this for those of you that have toddlers that don't sleep on a very good schedule. I thought it was so cute:


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Checked off the list

Well. looking over my to do list yesterday I can happily say I did everything on it except for the last three, which I don't feel bad or guilty about. It was a very productive and busy day and I felt like I accomplished a lot, even more than I thought I would. Jonah ended up helping me flip our mattresses- we even took them off the bed and I dusted and vacuumed under it :) ahh. Nothing like a thorough cleaning to make you feel good! I love my husband, did I mention that? He is such a helpful, loving and hard working man.
I also created two new invitations for Itsybitsy, and I was able to print, photograph and post them- always a time consuming task but something I really enjoy.
Tonight I am hoping to list a couple more items but I don't know if I will have time. Maybe tomorrow....
I just keep plugging away at my shop and I have found it to be a terrific outlet for my creative side. It's still something I really enjoy and don't feel pressured doing so I will continue designing for it. I do hope to market it more but as time allows. I think my biggest hurdle is discovering what people like to buy and hitting a price point that is within their reach.
But anyways it was a good start to the week and I am happy I finished all my cleaning (and laundry!) so that I don't have to think about it for several days. I love the feeling of a clean home!! I hope everyone is having a great start to the week and that today is filled with many joys! I have one joy to write about, my husband is working here at my workplace this summer :)
I can never get too much of him!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Productive Monday! Or so I hope

It's my day off for the summer work schedule and I am soo thankful! I love having a four day work week in the summer, I always get excited for Mondays. I am such a procrastinator so of course I like to push my 'chores' to Monday. But at least I have Monday to do them, and I don't start the work week feeling guilty for not getting my never ending to do list done! This morning I have a list I need to try and work on and I thought I would write it here for fun....and I will check back tonight to see how I did.
  1. Finish laundry
  2. Switch out clean sheets on our bed
  3. Dust Dust Dust (this is one of my least favorites :)
  4. Vacuum floors
  5. Sweep/Mop
  6. Clean bathroom
  7. My daily exercise workout (last night I procrastinated until after church, that was fun!)
  8. Clean up dishes from breakfast
  9. Package and mail my latest order from Etsy
  10. Work on a few new designs for Itsy Bitsy
  11. Pick out some photos from our vault of pictures- to actually print some
  12. Meal plan for the week, as well as grocery list
  13. Maybe run to the grocery store- depending on what we need
Hmm, I think that is all for now. First I'll have devotions, and then I can move onto my list. Hopefully today will be productive....and I will squeeze in time with Jonah at the pool (another hot day in GA). Since the morning already started out rough I'm hoping it will smooth out. I started the day trying to get a blueberry stain off of our couch pillow- to no avail- does anyone have a trick for blueberry juice? And then I proceeded to step in my cereal bowl that was on the floor- with milk in it. So I spent some time cleaning milk off the carpet. I hope it won't be an overall klutzy day for me!
Happy Monday everyone!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Proverbs 10

Today I read through Proverbs 10 and decided to do something different. There are references to the wise/just/righteous vs. the wicked throughout the chapter. I took out a piece of scrap paper made two columns and listed out each one I found. It was really amazing to look back and read all the different references God has for us in this one little chapter. Since I don't know how to make two columns in this post, here is what I found starting with the wise list first, then followed by the wicked.

Wise
  1. maketh a glad father
  2. will not famish
  3. gathereth in the summer
  4. blessings on their head
  5. the memory of them is blessed
  6. they will receive commandments
  7. their mouth is a well of life
  8. their mouth has knowledge
  9. their labor equals life
  10. refraineth their lips
  11. their tongue is choice silver
  12. their lips feed many
  13. desires of them will be granted
  14. they are an everlasting foundation
  15. their fear of the Lord prolongs their days
  16. their hope is gladness
  17. way of the Lord is strength
  18. they shall never be removed
  19. their mouths know what is acceptable.

Then the list for the wicked:

  1. they are heaviness for their mother
  2. their substance is cast away
  3. sleepeth in harvest
  4. violence covereth him
  5. his name shall rot
  6. they shall fall
  7. their mouth is violence
  8. their mouth is destruction
  9. their fruit is sin
  10. heart of the wicked is of little worth
  11. they die for want of wisdom
  12. fear cometh upon them
  13. as a whirlwind passeth so the wicked shall be no more
  14. their years are shortened
  15. wicked shall not inhabit the earth
  16. they speaketh forwardness

It's quite a list I know but it was a different perspective for me, and brought in a new method of learning. I think I may try this again tomorrow. But looking back made me realize how God blesses those that seek after Him, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness..."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Carry her to Him

Sometimes there are people placed in your life for reasons you don't really know. I have found that to happen frequently, especially working with the teens at church. Some of their stories are so far from how I grew up and I find myself struggling with the right words to say, encouragement, guidance, without coming across as harsh and unloving. It's really a challenge for me. I have never considered myself to be the type that just gives good advice, I always find myself struggling for the right words, praying for the right words.
I have several people in my life that I pray for but don't really know what else I can do. Today I was listening to a song called Love them like Jesus and the words really made an impression on me (even though I've heard it so many times). Some of the lyrics are:

Love her like Jesus,
Carry her to Him,
His yoke is easy,
His burden is light,
You don't need the answers
to all of life's questions
Just know that He loves her
Stay by her side
And love her like Jesus.

How relevant that is in my life, right now today, everyday. I love the phrase "carry her to him". Through prayer I bring those my heart hurts for, to Him. How comforting it is to be reminded that Jesus loves those that I can't find the words for, I can only pray to show love like Jesus...
I certainly don't have all the answers and I love being encouraged by simple messages like this.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Proverbs


This year has proven to be a learning experience in managing a budget and spending only what we have placed in our budget each month. It's been such a relief to know what we have for each category. No longer do we feel guilty when we induldge in something like clothing purchases or eating out with friends. Knowing what we have to spend before we go out has kept us on track. But it isn't always easy. Our goal is focused on paying off our debt which for us includes student loans + car payment. We are chipping away at it little by little.
Working on our dave ramsey debt snowball is fun because as you pay off one thing you take that money and put it towards your next debt- the result is a snowball that gets bigger and bigger until you are left with no debt and all that extra money to put towards, well whatever you want in the end. (probably a house for us)
However throughout this we have been finding some bumps in the road, extra money we were counting on doesn't come through for some reason on a few different occasions. It's disappointing that's for sure and leaves us wondering why? I tend to get a little down when things fall through the cracks, especially when it comes to extra money, because I would like to see our debt diminish quickly- which would allow us to move into the next phase of our lives.
But I have found that you have to remain content where you are no matter what comes up, learn what God is teaching you WHERE YOU ARE. Wow right?
I read this verse this morning and it helped keep things in perspective. Money really isn't important- seeking out God's wisdom is. How often in my life have I put things and money in front of God? I have things I would love to buy....who doesn't right? But what matters isn't really our earthly possessions but our time after our journey here on earth. Heavenly things....
So what am I doing to make a difference for eternity?
A challenge for me definitely. My heart is filled with knowledge of Christ, He is the only one that leaves the peaceful joy my soul longs for. Why do I let myself get so caught up in things?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

baby faces

My friend has two adorable little boys pretty close in age, and I volunteered to do a photoshoot with them since she doesn't have a lot of pictures with her newest little boy. I thought it would be fun and give me some more experience overall. I just loved doing it and I was surprised at how quickly it took. Besides the fact that her sweet little newborn didn't want to wake up (I took some of him later after his bath, he was a little more alert) I still found some precious expressions from his sleepiness. Here are some of my favorites from the shoot.





















My absolute favorite from the day, sweet smooshy baby faces.