Tuesday, January 9

Thrifty & Crafty

   Do you ever throw frozen waffles on a fancy plate and pretend its a gourmet restaurant meal? I do. My favorite thing on Saturday mornings is to sleep until around 9 am, then getting up to make breakfast with my husband. We don't go to IHop for breakfast unless it is a special occasion, so its fun to get creative in the kitchen making homemade omelets, pancakes, slicing up fresh fruit or frying bacon. We can then cuddle up in our jammies, and don't have to tip a waitress.


  Which brings me to say, I like to save money where I can.

  My mom was always thrifty when I was growing up. There were twelve of us kids, so there wasn't near as much money to throw around, but we always had nice things. Sometimes our clothes came from Goodwill or the sale rack at JCPenney, but they were always clean and neat. She fixed up the house with mostly things she found at garage sales or a bargain deal somewhere. We never went for the most expensive brand of food, the store brand is always cheaper and tastes the same anyway. Except for Blue Bell ice cream. We were a picky, southern, Texan family and it was either Blue Bell ice cream or no ice cream.
As I got older and became a wife, I still kept that mindset. It shocked me how much cheaper and easier it is to buy groceries for two, but it was so fun to match prices and see just how much money I could save on my own little grocery trips to the store.

  When it comes to decorating the house, I still feel the same way. My coffee table is an old cedar chest passed down from my great grandmother. It took repairing, but I still think it is so antique and beautiful. I'm not sure how many people my TV stand has been passed down through. I like to take old broken things and fix them up. It just brings me so much pleasure to see just what I am capable of turning something that isn't quite so nice back into.
I am sure my friends find it questionable when I am quick to yell "Don't throw that away, I want it!" and take a dive towards their old, torn apart piece of furniture. But what is that saying? One mans trash is another mans treasure. I promise I am not a creepy hoarder.  Its just that my first thoughts of a quality piece of garbage is "What idea can I find on Pinterest for this?"
Someone gave me a bright gold shelf with swirly designs that they were going to pitch. With a hefty coat of white spray paint, it paired nicely topped with floral and hung in my pink, shabby bathroom. Worn out clothes can be torn into blocks for a quilt. Wine or juice bottles with ribbon or glitter make beautiful vases. A frame that you don't have use for anymore makes an adorable picture shadow box, or a perfect chalk board with some chalk spray on the glass. So cheap compared to those twenty dollar chalk boards at hobby lobby, plus its more fun customizing your own.

 
{My son's sonogram shadowbox)

   My sweet husband also supports my crafty fondness of recreate and recycling. He brought home a tall mirror for Christmas so I could decorate it with felt flowers and last years Christmas lights from the Dollar store. He made a queen size bed for our guest room with old privacy fence posts. Its my very favorite piece of furniture, if not for how only how rustic and solid it looks, but thinking of sitting in the garage and watching him put it together with his own bare hands. I love watching him build stuff, he makes it look like the simplest thing in the world.


Recycling turns things into other things which is basically magic.

   It's funny just how little effort it takes to be a good steward of the things and money you have. To use a little glue or string and a crafty brain to turn your garbage into goodies. To see just how far you can stretch your grocery budget, and all the stylish items you can find on the sale rack if you look hard enough.
I'm thankful for the way I was brought up, not only in a more penny saving, thrifty environment. But for the fact that my parents helped encourage a more creative eye, and set good examples for me to follow.

Friday, January 5

2017 Recap

 

  My previous New Years Eve wasn't any different than the ones before it had been. I worked that day, came home exhausted and didn't even try to make any "new year, new me", or your typical lose weight, drink water, be kinder resolutions, etc. 
Life had started to fall into the same old routine, just like every other year. It was kind of dull, monotone, just the same repetitive lifestyle day after day.

Get up early, work, eat, sleep. 

  I still struggled with the bleak depression of losing my dad the two years before, my mind dwelled on the thought, making the days feel a little darker. I didn't know how to overcome those feelings.
I didn't really enjoy my job. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything that would get me anywhere. I still remember the cold day in February that I decided to quit working fast food. I was 20 years old, why was I still stuck in a drive thru day after day? I had worked there since I was sixteen, I wasn't sure what to do next, but it was so exhilarating putting in my two weeks notice thinking I wouldn't ever go back. It was a silly little thing to put behind me, and it didn't seem very huge or life changing, but the new attitude I decided to put on changed my life  was. All I could think was I want to be happy, I want to experience life with a new perspective.

  It was exciting to have so much free time on my hands. I could workout whenever I wanted, go out for coffee with friends, deep clean my little house, sleep in on days I had stayed up a little to late. My relationship with my husband became stronger, we ate more homemade meals and spent more time together. We began taking little weekend trips to the beach, road trips with his family, taking little spur of the moment dates. We visited parts of the world other than our little corner of Texas. The keys in Florida, Missouri, Costa Rica and different islands of the Bahamas. We did more photoshoots together. We bought our first "just for fun" car. I started helping make pies in a bakery a few days a week, it was stress free and with a little group of enjoyable people. I began thoroughly browsing Pinterest, trying new crafts and recipes. We visited new churches, met new friends.
But mostly of all these things, I began to pray more. I had put God aside to often in my life, throwing him on the back burner. Why would I focus on bad things, when I could be thanking God for the good things? It made all those little inconveniences in life look so small.

Life was good.

  Aside from all that, one of the very most life changing events happened on an early morning of September 23rd. I found out I was pregnant with our sweet little son. I had never felt such a surging excitement go through my entire body until the moment those little pink lines showed up, bright as day on that pregnancy test. I cried tears of happiness, and thanked God over and over. I cried again when the ladies at the pregnancy center assured me it was real, then I cried the rest of the day until my husband came home from work and I told him the news. My little boy is not born yet, but he has already changed me so much for the better. I already no longer feel so selfish. His sweet little wiggles inside me remind me daily of the miracles God can put in your life. This little baby has taught me just how fervently you can love a human soul more than your own, how feverishly protecting a mothers heart can be. How dearly I love my husband when he talks to my growing belly every day, as he daydreams about having a son to teach and enjoy life with. He is our little heavenly angel, and couldn't have come at a more perfect time then now.

  2017 was a very refreshing, eye opening year for me. I learned so much, I grew a new perspective. I found out that life is what you make it, happiness is a choice. You will love better if you choose not to be bitter. That you can overcome grief and pain. True, it never always goes away, but you can learn to cope with it, and be grateful for the love you experienced and memories you carry with you.

  This New Years Eve again I didn't make any resolutions. But I intend on continuing to choose happiness and to enjoy life with a daily new and positive perspective.


Costa Rica Photos Recap






Florida Recap


The Bahamas Recap





Remington Chase Annoucement & Gender Reveal





Excited and thankful for whats to come!

Wednesday, June 28

   My husband and I took a little getaway the past week out to the beach, and may I dare say it definitely made the tops of the best trips we've taken together. Coming back home was hard to do.

  The weather was perfect. The air was warm and salty, the sound of the crashing waves, the hot sand between our toes. It was pure heaven.


  We shared an omelet and coffee together in little cafĂ© each morning while the sun was coming up behind the water, then we'd walk to the beach to catch some rays and drinks. Caleb took me out for a ride in a cruise boat that took us far out into the ocean where the dolphins swam. They jumped and splashed all through the water, swimming in pairs and groups. They were so beautiful. So happy. I could literally watch them for hours and never tire of it a bit. The closer they came to the boat, the more exhilarating it was. It was so surreal to see these graceful animals so near and close, made me want to reach out and touch them.


  The restaurants along the coast were fantastic. Huge, colorful structures built on piers, full of live music and bustling with laughing people. We tried every restaurant as many times as we could, and each was better than the last.


I didn't take near as many photos on my camera as I wished, but snapchat sufficed since my camera would have suffered to much sand, seaweed, water, and who knows what else. I didn't mind to much leaving it behind.
One evening we took a speed boat out through the bay, sixty feet into the ocean on the outskirts of the island. It went so fast through the water, it almost felt like a roller coaster, bouncing over the waves. There were more dolphins along the way, and fisherman holding up their catch out on the jetties. The water nearly sprayed ten feet in the air from behind the engine, getting us all drenched inside the boat, which felt incredibly delightful under the scorching sun.  Afterwards we went out for music and dinner to celebrate Caleb's 21st birthday that evening on a three story deck, just as the sun was going down over the water. It was so incredibly gorgeous. My heart was so full.


At each nightfall we'd venture out to the beach with a towel and watched the stars come out over the water. There's just something about that vast sky and the sound of the waves that is so therapeutic. It soothes your soul and loosens your tongue. I had so many deep talks with my husband under those stars, leaning on his shoulder while he scribbled hearts into the sand. Complete bliss.

You can find me where the music meets the ocean.

  As much as I enjoyed our beach outings, nothing can feel quite as good as crawling into your own bed, even if the gulf isn't exactly in your backyard. But the summer has just started, and this isn't my  last beach visit of the year! No, just the beginning of many.


Sunday, June 11

 

  One year ago.

  One year ago today, with sweating palms and a thumping heart, I was awkwardly making my way down the aisle to meet my groom. To give my life, my hopes, my dreams, my deepest thoughts, my insecurities, my whole being to a young man...hardly more than a boy, for a lifetime.
  I struggled. Was I worth it? Did he still want to do this? Does he even really like me this much? Maybe this is a bad idea. What if he changes his mind? But the minute I saw him there at the alter, all those feelings melted away. There he was, MY husband. I'd never felt more proud in my life. The feeling of relief that washed over me as the pastor said those words I had been waiting to hear, it had to be the most wonderful feeling I had ever felt.

  People doubted us. You're to young. You don't know what you're doing. You should wait to get married. Just give it a few months, you'll hate eachother. I would cry to my husband, but he never let it bother him. "Don't listen to them, honey. They just like to talk, all we have to do is prove them wrong." I never truly knew what the verse in Ephesians meant until I met Caleb. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.  That is just what he does, day after day. Through my constant worrying, my mistakes, he is there for me, calm and confident. God has blessed me with such an incredible man in my life. No, he isn't perfect, neither of us are. Sometimes I burn the supper, sometimes he lets the grass get to high. I'm bad about letting the laundry pile up. He doesn't clean the sink after he trims his beard. I forget to water the flowers, and so on, so forth. At times we disagree, we laugh together, we cry together, but we are always there for eachother. Through whatever life throws at us. We are committed to make things work, through richer or poorer, sickness and in health. Till death do us part.  My prayer everyday, Lord, make me a better wife. I want to be deserving of this beautiful blessing God has given me.


Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate


  I am so glad I have this man to grow old with. His contagious laughter, his dimples, the way he makes me smile all through out the day without even trying. I am slowly learning that marriage is what you make it. You can't expect it to go all merry and fabulous if you don't work to make it that way. Love is a choice, love is commitment, hard work, selflessness, going out of your way for the other day after day. But nothing is as beautiful or rewarding as this blissful, beautiful matrimony God created between a man and woman.


I don't want to let a moment of this wonderful life to pass by unnoticed. And I am so excited to spend the years to come with the love of my life.