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.






Saturday, June 6, 2009

getting to milk

I didn't realize it's been a few days since I've posted. Jonah and I have been busy with life, as you know how it goes. Summer days shouldn't go so fast! 
We have actually started a new exercise program working with trainers at a chiropractic/training/nutritional place. We had them come to the school one day and give us free evaluations of our posture and spine alignment. After that we ended up making appointments to go visit their office and finish our evaluations. I already knew I had bad posture but after hearing how it affects my overall health was really enough for both of us to make the decision to work hard and get into shape-literally. This doctors office is different from a stand alone chiropractor. They offer training to help you do exercises geared towards your specific weak areas. What was interesting to me was the fact that when you do have poor posture (and all the pain that goes with that) your body tries to compensate for the weak area by working even harder in the areas you are using...overall just keeping those weak muscles even more weak. I have always wanted to work hard to be in shape, but I never really felt motivated enough (I know I'm such a lazy butt). Having one on one training with professionals has been such a good experience so far, and the best thing about it all is that Jonah and I are doing it together. We are learning important exercises and stretches to strengthen our overall bodies, to pull our posture back into shape, but also eliminate pains from all the strain of bad habits. We purchased exercise balls, and I learned there is a difference between the kind you buy, you need to buy thick heavy ones that don't burst but leak air if punctured, and make sure they are large enough for your frame. I am about 5'5" and I fit a 55 cm ball, I had an old one I bought a year ago that was about half the size, and completely wrong for me. 
I am excited to exercise again but to know I am doing things for my specific weak areas is really exhilarating, even if it is painful! It's been my personal goal to be healthier this year and we are making our way down that path. My next and forever goal is to be more nutritionally healthy. What a daunting task it is to take the world's knowledge of nutrition and put it in a nice little package for me to understand. It's kind of like the old saying "how do you eat an elephant?".... one bite at a time. It's the same with slowly learning about foods and what is good for what. 
Along with this I am really focusing on growing my etsy shop as time allows. Right now I have had more time to put an effort towards it as the summers are slower work weeks than the falls. I'm praying for guidance in that area as I gradually work on it. I love etsy though for the reason there is no pressure involved. It's really what you put into it is what you have time for.
I'm also focusing more on prayer this month, it's something I can easily slip out of.  And I don't mean praying in general but focused times of prayer. 
We are going through a lot of big changes in our life with our goals focused on some large hurdles. But I am encouraged in the Lord, and what He is capable of doing. 
I made a chart to track our journey to becoming debt free and on it I listed several quotes that I wanted to share with you out there, may they be an encouragement with whatever journey your life is taking you, and may you too find encouragement in the Lord. 

"Everything comes to him who waits, if he works while he waits."

"It is not he who has little, but he who wants more who is poor."

"We cannot do everything at once but we can do something at once."

and my favorite...

"Patience...in time the grass becomes milk."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

bookmarks

When it comes to being creative, sometimes I have novel inspirational ideas. Other times my brain feels like it's sailing through a thick fog. I went both ways this week and came to a novel idea- phew. I always get excited when I finally break through and create something I really like that makes me smile. My hope is that my products bring smiles to those who receive them. Is that too much to ask? I know it may seem unimportant, but I love creating and designing brightly well designed color palettes. I look to some of my favorite child boutique sites for inspiration. So here is my latest creation that I am posting on Itsy Bitsy- bookmarks!