April 30, 2010

The One with a Verse

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers
in speech,
in life,
in love,
in faith
and in purity.

[I Timothy 4:12]

April 28, 2010

The One which Mimics the Tilt-o-Whirl

Don't mind the title.
It's just that this post is completely non-cohesive. 
My reasons for writing are many. 

Here they are in no particular order.
(Because seriously, what would a tilt-o-whirl post be if it was orderly?!)

Because I curled my hair. 
With my new Conair curl-o-matic curling ironing.
Ok, so that's not the real name. 
But that's what I'm calling it.
It's the exact iron I was wanting.
And when Aldi got it in on a special for $7.99--HECK yes. 
That thing was in my cart lickity split.
But then of course I put it back.
Because I can't spend more than $.99 without triple thinking it over.
But after the "triple think" I decided all systems were go.
I'm so glad I bought this baby.
I had a blast curling my hair with a curling iron that actually stays hot after each curl.

Because I'm wearing a dress.
And because I'm wearing leggings.
Leggings are THE most comfortable form of clothing ever invented. 
If it were appropriate, I would get rid of all of my pants and only wear leggings for the rest of my life. 
But alas, it is not appropriate. 
Believe me, you should be thanking me for this decision.

Because my lilac bushes are in BLOOM. 
I heart lilacs.
They smell like heaven. 
And they're almost that beautiful.
I cut a bunch of buds and brought them inside.
Then I utilized the Kerr canning jars. 
Isn't that just the prettiest thing you ever did see on a Spring morning?!

Because it's officially GARAGE SALE season!
Kevin didn't work Friday so he willingly came after I asked him in the sweetest manner I twisted his arm/begged and pleaded.
But he really was fun to have around.
I just had to keep my "browsing for browsing sake" to a minimum.
The first sale wasn't even open when we arrived--oops!
But she was totally fine with us browsing through boxes and such.
For a total of SIX dollars (yes, $6.00!) I came away with:
  • one adorable shimmery teal wallet.
  • one Martha Stewart cookbook (looks like new!)
  • two "gifts in a jar" recipe books (this will be uber useful--what a great way to branch out from the plain old cookie in a jar.)
  • one pair of blingin' (for me) sunglasses. 
  • and three adorable dresses
One of the dresses fits me perfectly and is super funky and looks adorable with my leggings.
The other two were just right for one of our teens.
I saw them and knew I had to have them for "our girls."
AJ loved both of them.
They were just right for her.
And she couldn't believe I had bought her two dresses "just because."
Best. feeling. in. the world.

And because I'm in LOVE with my new monogram tote from Swagger.
A couple weeks ago I won a fabulous giveaway over at Kevin & Amanda's.
A $50 gift card to shop at Swagger.
It took multiple "shopping trips" filled with browsing to narrow down my favorites.
Kevin helped me decide on the final choice and he was definitely right on!
The tote I picked out is adorable.
And durable.
And enormous. yet has little pockets for cell and such.
And the monogram in "hot pink" on the front?
I may have a slight obsession with monograms.
And I thought the "hot pink" just added that feminine touch I was looking for.
Don't you love it?

And along the way as I made my final Swagger purchase, I had a lengthy email conversation with the owner.
Mandy is wonderful.
She gives the best customer service I have ever encountered.
She replied quickly.
Corrected glitches with class.
And made me feel like I was her only customer.
Which, I'm pretty certain, is not true.
You should definitely consider Swagger for your next gift purchase.
It's got great ideas for wedding party gifts,
Mother's Day, Father's Day,
New Baby Day,
and just-because-I-deserve-a-little-something-special-Day.

Immediately following this poor lighting photo, I dropped our little Samsung point and shoot on the cement.
It doesn't work so well anymore.
If anyone is looking to sell their digital SLR (for a price that this cheapskate would consider), look me up!

And this concludes my "most random picture post of the week" post.
Just kidding.
But seriously, don't miss the lovely little "Spring Showers" memories post!

The One with a Walk in Spring Showers

Two years ago at this time, we were getting showered with beautiful gifts and reminded of the wonderful friends and family who support us.
My mom threw a fantastic shower for me at our home church. 
My Brittney planned an awesome shower for me at our home-away-from-home church in Spring Arbor.
And right after that SAU shower, she had coordinated a small private "personal shower." 
It was a wonderful month spent preparing for the rest of my life. :) 
Kevin and I were married just a week after college graduation.

Walk with me down this beautiful path of blessings, won't you?

::three generations::
Grandma Mary (Dad's mom), my Mom, my Sister-ashley, me, Grams (Mom's mom)
It was a HUGE suprise to have my Grams there! 
She came up from Florida for the celebration!!

::Mom did a great job with the decorations::
she coordinated everything with our wedding colors and flowers!

::Grams helped me clip the stitches to my "something old"::
It was a baby bonnet I wore home from the hospital.
It came with a lovely little poem and instructions to transform it back 
to a hanky to be carried on my wedding day.

::notice those little spices in the midst of the gifts?::
we asked our guests to each bring their favorite spice to help start my spice cabinet.
Best. idea. ever. 
I use many of them every day and LOVED having such a well-rounded spice assortment
(I think I only had one duplicate!)

::Britt was a dutiful co-maid-of-honor::
helping keep track of gifts and givers. 
WOW! look at all those presents!

::And now on to the SAU shower::
Brittney planned an ice cream bar (ice cream not shown) with ALL the toppings!

::scrapbooking centerpieces::
the guests put together scrapbooking templates for me to use


::check out all of my beautiful SAU friends!::

::my moms and me::
(Kevin's mom on the left; my mom on the right)

::Brittney leading us in some fun games::
one of which involved me answering questions and 
if I didn't match Kevin's answer I had to shove a huge piece of bubblegum in my mouth.

::Just a couple hours later we were back to our K-house for my personal shower::
Brooke provided us with TONS of bakery goods from her dad's shop

::Betsy's face says it all--the theme of this shower::

::ooooh, candles!::

Thank you, friends and family, 
for helping prepare us for making our own home. 
Without you, we wouldn't have known where to begin. 
We love you!

April 23, 2010

The One with the Most Productive Way to Spend Your Time

Sometimes my choices are counterproductive. 
Neglecting my time of uninterrupted devotion with God tops the list. 
I believe I fall into the trap of "I don't have time."
I'm a person driven to accomplish. 
To check off the "to do list."
To work feverishly to finish and move on to the next task. 
Leaving me with no time to sit and savor the presence of God. 

Did I really just say that?!
I did. 
Because it's true for me. 
(Though I rarely admit it.)
Maybe it's been true for you too. 

But this week has been a breath of fresh air. 
Spending time with God has rejuvinated my spirit. 
Now, I must insert an excuse here. 
In the past months I have felt the presence of the Spirit in nearly every moment of my life. 
I've been learning the reality of abiding with God
It is an indescribable experience. 
--a connection I pray will only continue to strenghthen.
But that's not an excuse for not sitting down and resting in His presence. 
Sure, He is with me in the moments of hectic rushing and busyness. 
But he specifically calls His children into a time of quiet with Him.
A time to read His Word. 
To express our feelings, our frustrations, our joys, our concerns on paper. 
To use wonderful tools to connect more with Him. 
--books written by inspired Spirit-filled individuals. 
And most importantly, a time to listen to His voice.
We can't hear him in our hustle and bustle. 
We must be still.

And today I realized something amazing. 
I am called to spend time with God.
To enjoy His presence.
And in doing so I do not lose "precious productive time."
In fact every moment of my day becomes even more productive. 
My mind is clear. 
My actions are intentional. 
And at the day's end, I discover extra time. 
To go on a relaxing walk with my husband and share needed conversation. 
To rest and do nothing "productive." 
It's a counter-intuitive dichotomy. 
But God's way totally rocks.

All of my devotional readings have been hitting this point hard. 
I wonder if anyone else experiences conviction in these wise admonishments. 
"Beware of any work for God which enables you to evade concentration on Him. (that never happens does it?!)
A great many Christian workers worship their work. 
The one concern of a work should be concentration on God.

There is no responsibility on you for the work [you do in His name]; (sweet!)
the only responsibility you have is to keep in living constant touch with God
and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your co-operation with Him. (a high calling, but SO cool!)
Wherever He puts us, our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work."

"We must build our faith, not on the fading light, but on the Light that never fails.
A Christian worker is one who perpetually looks in the face of God 
and then goes forth to talk to people. 
The characteristic of the ministry of Christ is that of unconscious glory that abides.
The secret of the worker's life is that he keeps in tune with God all the time."

And in today's reading in Sarah Young's Jesus Calling, Jesus said to me, 
"Keep your eyes on Me, not only for direction but also for empowerment. 
I never lead you to do something without equipping you for the task. (Amen, anyone?)
That is why it's so important to seek My will in everything you do. 
There are so many burned-out Christians who think more is always better, 
who deem it unspiritual to say no. (*ahem*)

In order to know My will, you must spend time with Me--enjoying My presence. (wait, what?! THAT'S my duty?! AWESOME!)
This is not an onerous task but a delightful privilege. (amen and amen.)
I will show you the path of Life; in My Presence is fullness of Joy; 
at My right hand there are pleasures forevermore."

Blessings to you today as you seek HIM.

April 21, 2010

The One with My [Adorable] Husband's Walk

[don't miss out on the great tip on Dropbox in the previous post.]

I have so many wonderful memories. 
Many of them in picture form. 
And I love pictures. 
Always have. 
My sister and I could sit for hours and hours and look through old pictures. 
Having every detail memorized just made it that much more enjoyable for us. 
In trying to decide which pictures to feature this week I had many thoughts. 
And one of them is this:
I simply must go through all of my mom's photo albums and scan, scan, scan. 
I need those pictures at my digitized disposal. :) 

That said, when I came across Kevin's portion of our wedding slideshow pictures I couldn't help myself.
He's so darn cute
I quickly asked him if he would hate me if I posted the pictures here. 
I thought he might. 
He said he wouldn't mind.
No really, he did. 

So this is a walk down Kevin's memory lane. 
In honor of his parents making such an amazing little boy. 
The same boy who became a wonderful husband--mine!
::little baby Kevin. (just days after birth I believe). 1986::

::check out the cheeks on this little man::
(at his second home: Somerset.)

::I love this one with all my heart::
three generations of E. men.

::ok ok. I love this one too::
His grandma tells this story wonderfully. 
He was playing tetherball with himself. 
And the ball kept hitting him in the head. 
And he loved every minute of it.

::add 20 years and you've got this summer::

::I need to stop saying "I really love this one" because it applies to all of these::
the suspenders just kill me. really they do. perfection on a 3 year old.

::two things strike me here::
1. he started playing really young. and he was probably decent here. :)
2. ahh footie pajamas. love.
(though they always made my feet sweat. hrm)

:::dad helps Kevin get all dressed up for Sunday morning service::

::his reading skills have always amazed me::
I think he learned to read at 3. sheesh.
He gives Big Bird a lot of credit.

::mmm. popcorn on the plane:::
his lips say that's some really amazing popcorn.

::no comment on the visored-sunglasses and stylish pose::

::he still loves camping::

::this one may be tied with the 3 generation photo above::
the father-son love here just emanates from every pixel.

::love the cheesy grin. 
love that he's at SBC again. 
love that he still loves SBC. 
love the Mario shirt.

::again with the facial expressions::
I'm kind of famous for mine as well.
Our children should be...well..entertaining to say the least.
He was very excited about the extra large cookie accident

Yes, there are many years about to be skipped. 
But between the horrors of puberty (his awkward years and mine were frighteningly similar)
and my desire to keep you all awake through the end, 
allow me to fast forward about 12 years. 

This has been my second family since 2004. 
I love them. 
And I love that they have always welcomed me into their family photos.
Even before I took their son from them permanently. *wink*

 ::Niagara Falls August 2006::

::same trip: Cadillac Mtn, Maine::

::marriage day::
they are officially stuck with me.
::Detroit Zoo: Summer 2008::

 ::grandparents' 50th anniversary celebration in Frankenmuth::
Summer 2009

::Easter 2010::

Mom, Dad, and Brian, 
I can't thank you enough for all you have done for me (and for us!)
We love you.