Friday, August 20, 2010

30 Day Blog - OCD

So today's blog journal is "something I am OCD about." Well my husband would tell you to make that plural because there is a long list of things I am OCD about!

1) Dishes in the dishwasher! I was raised in a house where it was unacceptable to leave your dishes in the sink if they could go in the dishwasher.

2) Dishes in the sink! Before I go to bed, I clean the dishes! I HATE having dishes in the sink!

3) A clean house! I don't have to have a perfect house, but I do like my house to be picked up.

4) My seat belt! I always wear my seat belt; it is the first thing I do when I get in the car. Brant doesn't like wearing his and calls me his "mom" when I tell him to put it on.

5) Clothes on the floor! Brant comes in and usually just throws his clothes on the bedroom floor...and I can't stand it. Either hang up your clothes or put them in the hamper.

What are you OCD about???

Thursday, August 19, 2010

30 Day Blog - Pictures of Me

Yesterday, the 30 Day Blog Journal was supposed to be an old picture of myself (old meaning at least 10 years old). I actually had to go home and search for you.

Its funny to think that 10 years ago today, I was moving into my dorm at Dallas Baptist University, preparing to start my freshman year of college. This picture was one of my senior pictures taken in April 2000. (sorry if its a bit blurry...I was taking a digital picture of the printed picture).

And today, the 30 Day Blog Journal is a picture of me today. This is me and B, and was taken about a month ago when we were at dinner with some friends.

Yesterday, the daily challenge at my favorite digital scrapping site was to create a layout using a box I rearranged the different boxes and "cut up" the picture. Well I love this picture of me and Brant and hadn't scrapped it I decided it was the perfect picture. This is how it turned out.


I have been making so many new blog designs lately that I decided I needed something new and fresh as well. I love this color scheme - cool, fresh and calming...and right now with this Texas heat, I will take anything cool!

I hope you like it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Dress A Day

Talk about getting your creative juices flowing, this girl has done it! My dear friend Emily sent me this link today and I have to tell you that I LOVE it.

Marisa was going to be spending the entire year without doing an ounce of traditional clothing shopping. She decided to be creative and turn all of her flea market, vintage, antique clothing finds into today's wonderful fashion.

365 days, 365 dresses for only $365! AMAZING!

I have been, if I could only learn how to sew.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

30 Day Blog - Picture I took

I took this picture of Brant on our honeymoon. It is one of my favorites!

Monday, August 16, 2010

30 Day Blog - Sad Picture

Today's 30 Day Blog Journal is a picture that makes me sad or angry. This is a picture that makes me sad.
This is a picture of Carol, Sophie and Yenni at the Orphanage Emmanuel in Guiamaca, Honduras. Emmanuel is the orphanage I spent several months at after I graduated college. My heart is over-joyed that these precious angels are smiling, but I miss them dearly. I remember holding Carol and Sophie so many nights and rocking them to sleep. These girls hold a very special place in my heart.

30 Day Blog - Happy Picture

Sunday's blog journal was a picture that makes me happy! This is Ethan, my sister's youngest.

How can this picture NOT make you happy???

(Credits: Picture taken by Reflections by Amanda Rooney)

30 Day Blog - Favorite Things

Saturday's blog journal was favorite things - 20 of them to be precise. I was busy relaxing on Saturday, so I didn't have a chance to blog...but I still wanted you to see my favorite things.

My Favorite Things

1) My best friend (and husband), Brant! Not only Brant, but being married to him is one of my favorite things! He is an amazing husband and I am lucky to be his wife.

2) My sweet baby, Dax!!!

3) My sister, Amanda. Amanda and I are 5 years apart, but she is one of closest and dearest friends.

4) Sister's kiddo! Mason, Connor, Kate and Ethan have brought more joy to my life than I could ever have imagined. I LOVE being their Grabbie!

5) Cooking! I LOVE to cook, and love eating what I cook!

6) Books are one of my favorite things. I read just about anything, and cherish the time I have to read. I love books that are so great, I feel like I could be one of the characters.

7) Evolution is my favorite wine. My idea of a perfect night,
is sitting out on the patio with a glass of this and good book! Now that is pure bliss!


9) Digital Scrapbooking

10) Pedicures! There is nothing better than a great pedicure with a great foot massage!

11) My favorite flowers are stargazer lilies!

12) BABIES! I love babies and children of all ages.

13) Favorite candy is peanut butter M&M's

14) Traveling. I love to travel and take roadtrips, especially to the beach or lake. I am a water baby - always have been and always will be.

(Photo credit: Reflections by Amanda Rooney)

15) Winter. I love the cold winter months simply for the fact that I can curl up by the fire with a delicious cup of coffee and a good book!

16) Friends. I am lucky to have a fantastic group of friends who I love spending time with. Girls nights are without a doubt one of my favorite things!

17) Decorating - I really enjoy decorating my house, partially because decorating means organizing and I like my house neat and organized.

18) SHOES (and handbags). This goes hand in hand with my love of shopping. I am a firm believer that every outfit needs a matching handbag and pair of shoes.

19) Music. I love music and playing the piano. I started taking piano lessons when I was 4, and took them until I was a teenager. I love to play, and I love to hear it played.

20) Our church, Walnut Ridge Baptist Church. I love WRBC and everything it stands for. We have made so many friends through our Sunday School class and we thoroughly enjoy serving with them.

Friday, August 13, 2010

30 Day Blog - Favorite Book & Quote

I know, I'm a day late on posting my favorite book and today is favorite I am just combining both journal entries!

Favorite Book

I LOVE reading (as most of you can tell with all the book reviews and reading I talk about). I read stories, fantasies, mysteries...I love it all. To me, a great book is one that pulls me into the story. Its a book that captures me so deeply that I can see myself being a character in the book. Out of all the books I've read, here are my top three!

This book is amazingly written. You can read my personal review about it here. I would love to have been Abra.

I had never read CS Lewis until Chronicles of Narnia: Lion Witch and the Wardrobe was coming into theaters. I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie. I ended up reading most of the Chronicles' stories and loved them. I would have loved to have been Susan.

And yes, one of my most favorite reads of all time - The Twilight Saga.
(Yes, the whole series). I have never been so captivated by a work of fiction like I was in Twilight. I enjoyed every word and longed for more once I finished. I would loved to have been Alice.

Favorite Quote

Now on to my favorite quote. I have several favorite quotes; some funny, some serious, and some that are just truth to always remember; some from poetry, some from the Bible, some from songs and some from my favorite movies.

One of my favorite quotes is from a cross-stitched piece that used to be in my parents' room when I was kid: "Happiness is being married to your best friend." I have found this to be true and am so glad that I married my very best friend.

One from Robert Frost that I know to be true: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." (From "The Road Not Taken"

From Pat Green: "Don't you think life would be awfully boring, if the good times were all that we had?"

From Philippians 3: 10-11: "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead"

One that makes me laugh (just for you sister): "There's more than one way to kill a dog than chocking him on butter."

God has been so Good...

Actually, God has been so Great!

Two years ago, if you would have told me that my body was going to have a horrible reaction to birth control and that it would cause me to not ovulate for over a year, and that I would TTC (try to conceive) for over 20 months with no success, and the my doctors and nurses really didn't have a good understanding of why my body was reacting this way...I would have told you that you were crazy.

But in the past two years, this is exactly what has happened.

Two years ago, I didn't have a problem with infertility, mainly because I wasn't even trying to get pregnant. My friends and the people I surrounded myself with were just like me. I didn't really know people who had struggled with infertility and it wasn't a subject that was frequently talked about it my world. Two years ago, God also knew what was coming.

Last week, I posted about fate. If God has everything planned out and if He is the author of "fate", then isn't "fate" just God's plan? The past few weeks, I have seen things happen that some people would just call "fate", but I call it seeing the work of God, My Father, right before my very eyes.

When God wrote my story and planned my battle with infertility, He knew that I would need a support system. Not just the support of my husband and family, but a team of women who understood the battle, the emotions, the frustration, and the struggle. Little did I know that He was already putting that team together, just for me.

I met Ashley, the sister of a dear friend of ours who struggled with infertility. After a successful IVF, she has a precious little boy names Court, and then conceived (on her own) another little boy named Beckham. Ashley has a great lifeline for me. I have emailed her and she has been a rock for me to lean on when I question my emotions and sadness. She had given me books and devotionals, she has opened up her heart to me, and let me into her struggle.

Then there was Kelly Stamps, just a blog I used to read, who has now become a prayer warrior for me. Kelly struggled for three years before she conceived her baby girl, Harper, and now she has developed an incredible ministry praying for women who struggle with infertility.

Through an email I received from Kelly this week, I was introduced to several other ladies (and fellow bloggers) who are walking in my shoes, and I am walking in theirs. We have emailed, and exchanged blog addresses and so on. We are a cloud of witnesses for each other, earnestly praying for one another for the struggles, and the victories.

God knew two years ago that I would need each of these women. He knew that I would need people just to talk to, just to cry with, to pray for and pray with. HE KNEW! It amazes me that He perfectly created a support team of women to lift me when I didn't even know I would need it.

Although the battle is still raging, He has been GREAT! He has been faithful and He has provided what we have needed.

If you want to understand a little more about the emotions and battle surrounding infertility, Amy wrote an amazing post about it just the other day. If you are struggling with infertility, or know someone who is, I encourage you to read this.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

30 Day Blog Journal - Favorite TV Shows

Today's 30 Day Blog Journal is about favorite TV shows. I watch quite a few different shows, but many of them are simply because Brant watches them. However, I do have a few guilty pleasures.

Grey's Anatomy

Brothers and Sisters

One Tree Hill

Great News

So if you follow me on Twitter, then you probably saw this post: "Great News...blood work from yesterday came back and were at "acceptable" levels for the first time, ever! YEA!!!!!!!!!!"

Just to elaborate a bit, I had some blood work done on Monday to look at my hormone levels. In our struggle with infertility, my hormone levels have been the MAIN ISSUE! Any woman who has ever struggled with infertility will understand this.

I have been doing blood work every few months for the past 20 months. Now, the normal hormone level for an ovulating woman is 10 to 12. I have NEVER been above a 0.32! That's less than a man (a typical man has 2 to 3...I didn't even have a 1!).

But yesterday, my levels came back at an 8! This is huge victory and my doctor was thrilled with this level. Although they would still like to see it come up some more, an 8 is the best we've had yet!!!!!

I guess we'll wait and see what the Lord has in store!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

30 Day Blog - Favorite Movie

Well I promise to post pictures from our Beaver's Bend trip as soon as I have them uploaded. First of all, we had a blast, and yes, we thumped our canoe during the rapids!

But, Tricia is having a 30 Day Blog Journal, so I decided to join in the fun! Today (which is technically day 2 - I posted day 1 just a few moments ago) is your favorite movie. I have SEVERAL favorites, so here are just a few of them:

What Happens In Vegas

No matter how many times I see this movie, I laugh the ENTIRE time!

The Twilight Saga
Yes, I'm that girl. I LOVE the books, so how could I not love the movies. I agree that the acting is not stellar, but the love story tugs at my heart every time.

Steel Magnolias
"Just take a whack at Weezer"
(by the way, I can quote almost every line of this moive)


Gone With the Wind
This is definitely my most favorite classic movie of all time!!!


Here's the 30 Day Schedule:
Day 1: favorite song
Day 2: favorite movie
Day 3: favorite television program
Day 4: favorite book
Day 5: favorite quote
Day 6: 20 of my favorite things
Day 7: photo that makes me happy
Day 8: photo that makes me sad/angry
Day 9: photo i took
Day 10: photo of me from at least 10 years ago
Day 11: recent photo of me
Day 12: something i am ocd about
Day 13: a fictional book
Day 14: a non-fictional book
Day 15: my dream house
Day 16: song that makes me cry
Day 17: an art piece (drawing, painting, sculpture, etc)
Day 18: my wedding
Day 19: a talent of mine
Day 20: a hobby of mine
Day 21: a recipe
Day 22: a website
Day 23: a youtube video
Day 24: my town
Day 25: my day, in great detail
Day 26: my week, in great detail
Day 27: my worst habit
Day 28: what's in my bag/purse?
Day 29: hopes, plans, and dreams for the next 365 days
Day 30: a dream for the future

30 Day Blog Journal - Favorite Song

Day one of the 30 Day Blog Journal is your favorite song. I actually have several favorites, but here are my top favs!

Feels Like Home - Chantel Kreviazuk

I Run to You - Lady Antebellum

Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Lady Antebellum

More Than Anyone - Gavin Degraw

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Await Your Reply

Today I finished my latest book, Await Your Reply, by Dan Chaon.

This book was definitely different, and not a personal favorite. The story follows three different people: a man named Miles trying to search for his long-lost twin brother, Ryan a guy who decides to reinvent himself when he realizes he was adopted, and Lucy a girl who runs off with her high school teacher to a deserted motel.

For me, this book was extremely difficult to follow. First of all, there are three completely separate story lines, and within each storyline, the author goes from past to present, from past to present. I was constantly having to go back and remind myself about which character I was reading.

Although the author does do a good job of entangling the three stories, I felt that his writing style just made reading the book more of a challenge than an enjoyment. I was originally going to stop reading after a few chapters, but I was too intrigued to find out how the whole thing came I kept reading.

If you are a person who enjoys a good web of chaos or reading a challenging book, than this is a book for you. However, if you are like me and just like reading for sheer enjoyment, than this book probably shouldn't be on the top of your reading list.

But tonight, I am looking forward to picking up my next book...although, I'm not quite sure what book it will be! I need to go exploring in the "library".

Here Goes

So this weekend, Brant and I are going with 2 other couples from our Sunday School class on a canoe trip in Beaver's Bend, OK. We are so excited about going, but Emily has me scared to death.
Brant and I have been canoeing before and we actually work very well together. He simply tells me when to paddle and on what side. If he says "switch", then I switch. I just follow his instructions and it works! But this time, there is a level 1 and level 2 rapids, as well as a freakin' waterfall that we go down!!! I'm afraid we might be tumpin' over!

So Emily was kind enough to send me this picture this morning with the tagline: What you'll be doing Saturday!
So here goes nothing! We leave tomorrow as soon as I get home from work, and we'll be back Sunday night! So come back and see me on Monday and I'll tell ya whether or not I managed to stay IN the canoe!

What are everyone else's plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Is it Fate?

Have you ever wondered about fate? Is fate simply God's plan? I was raised in a home to believe that God's plan is sovereign and that, although we are given the power to make choices, He knows what our choices will be and He plans our every step. So the past week or so, I have been wondering about His plan...and whether or not he is trying to tell me something.

This morning, I had to go get new tires on my car. I sat down to wait the expected hour and began reading my book, but the sun was blaring into my eyes. So, I simply moved to the other side of the waiting area and began reading again. I ended up sitting next to a very nice man and we ended up in a very interesting conversation about....adoption.

This man and his wife pastor a small church in town and are currently in the process of adopting their 7th child! During the conversation, it came up that Brant and I did not have any children but desperately desired some. He asked me if we had thought about adoption and I answered yes, that adoption had been a topic discussed in our house more and more lately. The man then asked me if I had looked into adoption through CPS, and I said that yes, we actually had talked about it. The man's car was then ready, so he left. Then my car was ready about 10 minutes later, and I left. On my way to work, a good 7 or 8 miles away from Discount Tire, I stopped to fill up with gas...and my new adoptive friend just happened to be at that gas station, too. We talked some more.

Two nights ago, I actually had a dream about a little girl named Mia. She was a precious 9 month old baby when I met her and she had been born through a surrogate mother. She had beautiful olive colored skin and precious dark brown curly hair. And my dream was that I was introducing her to all of my friends as my new, baby girl. We had adopted her.

Last week, I read on my friend Janelle's blog that her and her husband, Heath, are beginning the process to become foster/adoptive parents. Our friends Corey and Andy are looking into this possibility as well.

Several months ago, right after Brant and I found out that we get to go to Hawaii, I had a dream that was so real to me that I woke up believing it. I dreamed that we were in Hawaii, but we had a precious little blond haired, blue eyed, 2 year little boy with us...and he was our adopted son. The dream was so real to me that I woke up and actually got out of bed to walk into the guest bedroom, which will one day be the nursery. I was saddened to find that it was still the guestroom.

For 20 months now, Brant and I have wanted and tried to have a child. We have talked about adoption, but I never wanted to go forward because I never felt a peace about it...I felt like I would be adopting a child just to satisfy our desire to be parents, not because it was the Lord's plan. But now God really has me on my knees about it.

So now I'm wondering, are these dreams and meeting strange people just acts of God? Is fate all apart of God's plan?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Madness

Oh my goodness, today has been busy already and I see no hope of slowing down until midnight! Today's to-do list is overflowing - here's a glimpse of what I am working on today:

1) Weekly Menu and Grovery Shopping list - Now I typically do all of my menu making and grocery shopping on Sunday, but yesterday was such a CRAZY day that I didn't have today, I need the weekly menu, plus I have to do the grocery list. And I can't just have any kind of menu...the meals have to be Weight Watchers appropriate...I'm a bridesmaid for a dear friend soon!!!

2) Finalize the plans with the Bennett's and the Lawrence's for this weekend's canoe trip to Beaver's Bend...figure out sleeping arrangements, departure time, meal responsibilities...and then add my meal responsibilities to the grocery list!

3) Try to finish this weeks Iron Scrapper Challenge over at Scrap Orchard. Here is a look at the page I did on my very first speed scrap Saturday morning.

4) Work on the social calendar! Yesterday, I became the social director for our Sunday School class. Sally has been the director this past year, but *Smiles* because Baby Girl Pinon will be making her debut soon, but *Tear* because that means the Pinon's move to the new class; but *Smiles* because I get to be the social director, but *Tear* because I have huge shoes to fill since Sally was awesome at this job! So anyways, today I hope to get a head start on the calendar so that everyone can get dates penciled in.

5) Figure out service projects for the social calendar.

6) Pray about leading a 9th grade girls Sunday School class. Our SS class is moving to a new hour, which allows us an extra hour on Sundays to serve within the church. well I LOVE the youth, so I have been emailing with the high school girls youth sponsor today and she needs 9th grade girl small group leaders.

7) Try to think of good blog posts! I have been such a slacker on posting lately, but mainly just because I have been out of town EVERY weekend in July except for this last weekend, but we were so busy that I didn't really feel like I was at home...then we will be out of town the next two weekends; home for one, then I'm going to North Carolina the last weekend of August! Seriously - my calendar hasn't been this packed since I was in college!!!

AND ON TOP OF ALL OF THIS...I am at work trying to get my actual job done!!! HAHAHA!!! I hope "life" slows down soon!