Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekending | "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya"

This weekend was packed FULL. 
Friend dates. Card games. The zoo. Puppies. Plays. Sunday Funday. Decorating.
We had so much fun though. It may have been busy but I really wouldn't mind if every other weekend looked somewhat similar to this one. 

Pictured above you'll see

1. It was Free Zoo Day (or according to Adam, "Free the zoo day"), so we picked up our favorite small child and went to see the animals. Doesn't my husband make the best goldy locks? It's the red beard that really completes the look.

2. Somebody, or two somebodies, took some lovely selfies on my phone while I was preoccupied with Sunday Funday. I love these ladies and their funny faces. As for Sunday Funday, we played life-sized Hungry, Hungry, Hippos and Bible Family Feud. Yes, our church is the best.

3. Look at my babies getting along. Ginny likes to sleep in Buck's kennel because it's his. Now Buck likes to sleep in his kennel because Ginny likes it. While their reasoning makes me laugh, it's a total win for me! 

4. I finally took the time to pull out all the goodies my folks brought me from my childhood bedroom back in WV.  I played around with different arrangements for an hour or so on Saturday and Adam finally hung them all this afternoon. Now I finally have a gallery wall above my couch. 
I'll be sharing more pictures of that soon :)

5. Saturday night we got to see one of our middle school students perform in her school's production of Annie. It was quite an enjoyable show.

What did you do this weekend? 

Friday, March 27, 2015

For all the HP fans

Can we take a minute and discuss this video?
If you're a Harry Potter fan, I'm sure you've seen it already. A friend posted this on my Facebook wall the other day, and I just love it. I've watched it so many times, and it just keeps getting better. 
And they couldn't have picked a better song to parody. Anytime I hear Uptown Funk it gets stuck in my head for days. Well, now I'll be humming this instead.

My favorite parts?
  • integration of the HP theme song --genius!
  • Voldemort in hair curlers -- who knew he could look more ridiculous 
  • Voldemort giving Harry the "L" to the forehead loser sign -- childish and perfect
  • Harry breaking it down on the cover of the Daily Prophet -- I still wish muggle pictures could move
  • Filch's embarrassing little dance with Mrs. Norris -- why not have another reason to laugh at Filch
  • Voldemort's mic/wand drop -- great exit

Are you a Harry Potter fan? What is your favorite part of this video?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thoughts | Late Night Worries

Anxiety. Worry. These are things that plague so many of us to some degree or another. 

I'm a natural born worrier. I worry about important things. I worry about silly things. I worry that my bills won't get paid and I worry that my perfectly healthy dog will die in his sleep. I worry that my house will burn down because I left the burner on and I worry that I'll forget to put the trash out on trash pick-up day. Seriously.

These are the things that wake me up at night. And whether they fall into the important or silly category, when I'm half asleep I am also irrational and each worry seems HUGE. All the horrible consequences and possibilities roll around in my head one after another making sleep impossible.

I've talked to so many others, and I know that I am not alone in my worrying. I'm not the only one who wakes up in the middle of the night in sheer panic over their trash. But what is the solution? Scripture clearly tells us not to worry. But when someone tells me "don't worry," I really just want to slap them. Do you think I want to worry? Do you think I want to wake up at night plagued with horrible thoughts? Of course not! If I could "not worry," I would!

It's not so simple to just "not worry." It is nearly impossible to simply banish those thoughts. But I've found one, mmmm let's call it a solution for lack of a better word, that works for me.

Like I said, I can't just take those thoughts out of my mind. I've discovered that instead I need to replace them. And I've chosen to replace them with truth. The truth of who God is, how great and mighty He is. The truth of how I am covered by His protection. The truth that I can operate in His strength rather than my weakness. The truth that He holds my life. The truth that I can seek and find His wisdom. The truth that despite my failure and my short-comings He loves me. The truth that even in this scary, broken world I have hope in Him.

When I awake to a mind full of fear and doubt and worry, I begin to quietly whisper these truths over and over again. My whispers turn to prayers and my prayers turn to peace.

Do my worries disappear completely? No. I often wake up the next night with some fresh, new fear.
But I do find peace temporarily, until I can face my worries in the light of day; until I can see my anxieties clearly and rationally and work to dispel them by His wisdom.

My temporary peace gets me through the night to a place where I can actually find some solution, with the Lord's help, to my late night worries. 

I can't promise that my "solution" will help, but I do know that it can never hurt to remember how great God is. Maybe if we consistently instill the truth of who He is in our heads and hearts that reality will overtake our worries. I have hope that it will. I have hope that by His side I'll find victory over my fear and anxiety.

Are you a worrier? Have you found ways to overcome it?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Browned butter and finding joy in baking

Let me begin by saying that I am not the best baker. I really enjoy baked goods (that's for sure!), but most of the time I'd rather just buy a cupcake or a muffin then put in the time and effort to make them. Something always seems to go wrong when I bake and I just don't seem to get any joy out of it (sorry grandma). And if I'm honest, some of my dislike for baking might stem from pure laziness...MIGHT.

So, when I ran across this article on how to be a better baker I was fully prepared to completely disregard it. However, I was intrigued by Joy's writing - she is hilarious - so I perused around her blog a little more. In my perusing, I stumbled upon her post on how to brown butter. As a non-baker, I had never heard of this before. "Browned butter? What is that?" my simple, bake-less mind pondered. To hear Joy talk about it, you'd think it was magic...actually, I think she calls it just that. Well, if something is magic, I have to try it!

And so today, I busted out my trusty KitchenAid and decided to try my hand at browning butter in an attempt to make Joy's "The Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies."

Butter was browned, ingredients were mixed, messes were made, dishes were dirtied (and cleaned), dough was formed, and cookies were baked. All with little mishaps. In fact, I thought I was golden right up until the time I was pulling the cookies out of the oven. I dropped two down in the bottom of the oven, right on the hot coils, so of course those burned and filled my kitchen with smoke. But hey, I didn't burn any other cookies and they are DELICIOUS! The mix of salty and sweet - heavenly!

And let me tell, browned butter? Amazing stuff. It's probably my new favorite smell. Does anyone know if there is a candle in that scent? I'd totally buy it.

So, all in all, I'd say my baking today was a huge success. And it was actually kind of FUN. Maybe I can find some joy in baking after all!?

And hey, if I can do it, so can you! Need some baking inspiration? Check out Joy the Baker, you'll find some there!

What did you do with your Saturday? Bake anything lately? Don't these look tasty?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Half-a-home Tour

We moved into our first home almost two months ago, and I have been promising pictures to family and friends that whole time. Yesterday it was so warm and beautifully sunny, I finally got around to snapping a few.

Please do keep in mind that decorations are still sparse - we're fresh off the college/rental market so decor has never been high on the to-do list before. It is a work in progress. And I'm only showing off the first floor because the upstairs is still in need of furniture. It's basically two and a half empty rooms with a mattresses plopped in the middle. Not much to see up there :)

So here we go...

Here she is. I always wanted a quaint, little, yellow house. So really, this little baby is my dream house. I'm looking forward to doing a bit of landscaping and adding some greenery out front to give her a bit of curb appeal.

Some views of our living room. That big, red couch is our newest addition. 
Let's play a game. Take a look around my house and see if you can determine my favorite color? 

Yes, the picture frame is off center. Like I said, the couch is new. Things used to be centered.
I'd love to turn that wall into a gallery wall. We'll see how that goes.

I do love this kitchen. I've got so much counter space, and the big windows let in so much light!
I want to re-paint in here. I'm thinking grey cabinets and light yellow walls. Any thoughts?

Let's just say the bathroom is a little quirky. There are a few things that make you tilt your head and question, "why?" But it is what it is.  
However, as old as the house is (it was built in 1904), 
quirky would be a good word to describe it as a whole.

There you go. Our home.

We've got quite a number of projects planned to spruce it up a bit, 
but I couldn't imagine being happier with our purchase. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Today. Victorious.

Yesterday, mailing labels got the best of me.

They beat me down. They stripped me of my pride and my dignity.
(seriously, I almost cried)

They reduced me to a whimpering, whining pile of negativity.

They conquered me.

But today. 

Today I got back up. I picked up my pride and placed my dignity in its place.

I refused to whine. I refused to whimper. I looked on the bright side, and


...take that mailing labels. what now?
*throws hands up in the air with game face on*
Oh. yeah.

Monday, March 9, 2015

best days

Mondays are for...

+ sleeping in
+ playing with puppies
+ breakfast making
 + coffee drinking
+ meal planning
+ laundry doing
+ house cleaning
+ project dreaming
+ reading, reading, and lots more reading
+ puppy cuddling, and
+ relaxing

Mondays = the best days

Friday, March 6, 2015

Currently // v.2

Up with another currently post. These are so fun, and I love the link-up! 
It's a great way to get a small peek into people's every day lives.

Dreaming // of a blizzard. I just want a blizzard y'all. A real, northern, South Dakota, can't leave my house for fear for my life, white out. I've been wanting one all winter, but no luck. Though locals say March brings the best snows around here, so maybe we'll get lucky!

Planning // a trip to Harry Potter World. Maybe this belongs under the dreaming category too. But after this post about it, I sooooo want to go! Hopefully this can be a brother/sister trip because I need someone to nerd out with me and my little brother, Jordan, would be my first and best pick.

Making // Roasted veggies. I made them a few weeks ago and they are delicious. I love a recipe that makes vegetables enjoyable to eat. My husband, Adam, even mentioned how great they were.

Baking // If you don't actually put it in the oven, does that count as baking? I made some rocking s'mores bars the other night for youth group. Marshmallows, chocolate, and golden grahams - does it get any better than that? Plus you just have to stick it in the refrigerator for an hour or so and it's done. Easy.

Watching // Mmmm not really anything. Adam is fasting TV for Lent, so I've just been doing a whole lot of reading in the evenings. My parents brought all my boxes of books when they visited, so I broke out some Harry Potter and I've been working my way through them again. If I can't go to Harry Potter World right now, I can at least visit Hogwarts in my imagination.

Link-up with Dearest Love and In Residence

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Thoughts | Failure & Pride

Do you ever have those weeks where God seems to keep trying to hammer the same thing into your head over and over?

That's been my deal the past few days. And it hasn't been fun. I'm so prideful. I don't ever want to admit that I'm wrong, or that I've failed. Failure is the WORST.

That seems to be something else that has followed me around this week. Failure. You see, I decided to participate in Lent this year. My first year, ever. I wanted to make a sacrifice in my life so that I might know Jesus better. So, I made a commitment.

I committed to waking up an hour earlier than usual in the mornings, and to spend that hour reading my Bible, praying, and listening to the Lord. Well, I think for it to be a commitment, you actually have to do it. So, maybe I didn't make a commitment. Really, I made an empty promise because I've only actually done it once. In two whole weeks. Once. And believe me, it hurts to admit that.

Now of course, I had plenty of excuses - my parents were in town, I don't want to wake my parents. We got a puppy, I don't want to wake the puppy. I don't want to disturb my husband, I picked something hard, the list continues. But that is exactly what they are - excuses. Excuses for why I failed. But I don't want to sit back and make excuses. I have to accept responsibility for my own actions.

In reality, I didn't want to wake up. That's the truth of it. My alarm would go off, already disturbing my husband (there goes that excuse!), then I would snooze it until I actually had to get up and get ready. Then after I was showered, dressed, make-uped, and fed, I would sit down with my Bible for the 20 minutes I had before I left for work.

No change to my schedule, no sacrifice, no extra time with my Savior. Failure.

And you know, I haven't wanted to admit that I'd failed. My pride wouldn't let me. I've just been sitting back and hoping the problem would solve itself. And that's what God's been hammering over and over into my thick skull. What's more important - my pride or my relationship with Him? To be honest, my pride has been winning out.

But no longer. I'm done allowing my pride to control me. I'm done hiding my own weakness and failure. I'm done sitting back and waiting to be saved. I'm repenting of my pride and I'm going to arm myself with His strength, and with His grace and wage some war on my own laziness and apathy.

Tomorrow is another day to wake up and fight again.

Lord, help me. Please, create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me.

So, if you find yourself in the same spot, battling your pride or failure, know you aren't alone. Repent, and try again. It's hard, but keep fighting. And know that God's grace is so much bigger than your weakness.

Also, a huge thank you to Amy for her inspiring thoughts. This post really woke me up. Thank you.

Monday, March 2, 2015

March Goals

Shew! It feels like February flew by! It was here one minute and gone the next. I had so many things to accomplish that I didn't even bother to write a goals list. I just wanted to get moved into our new house and stay sane.

So, I'm welcoming in the new month with a fresh attempt at meeting some goals. And here they are:

1. Meet my neighbors - Again, we just moved. I am terrible at purposefully meeting new people. And you know how after a while it just gets awkward to go introduce yourself? I mean, what do you say? "Hi, I'm your neighbor. I moved in a year ago, I've waved to you as I've brought my trash in a few times, and my dog may have pooped in your front yard once or twice. Nice to meet you." Really. So, this month I want to make some cookies and knock on some front doors. I've been called to this community, time to go and meet them.

2. Get all the empty boxes out of my house - If it doesn't happen now it never will. I can hear that captor from Taken's voice in my head, "Good luck." *Gulp*

3. Send my brother one rocking birthday care package - He's the best little bro in the whole wide world and I think his day of birth is one to be totally celebrated! Since I can't be there, I want to send him something awesome. So, I'm on the lookout for some cool stuff to add to his box of goodies. Got suggestions for a care-free 20 year old guy? Send 'em my way!

4. Plan out 5 meals each week - Meal planning is one of my (many!) weaknesses. I'll do it for one week, then the next we'll just be scrounging up whatever we can find around the kitchen - or worse, grabbing some fast food. Adam and I have been wanting to eat healthier and I really think that starts with actually deciding ahead of time what we'll be eating. And I'm going with 5 meals a week because we don't really eat dinner on Wednesdays (youth group night) and that gives one free night for leftovers/eating out/dinner partying.

What are you trying to accomplish in March?