Thursday, December 30, 2010

happy birthday tyler.

happy birthday to my little brother who is 17 today. i love you and am proud of the man you have become. :)

i had a fantastic christmas with family and friends. highlights and pictures will be posted soon, probably after the new year. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

five days.

i am loving this week! our savior/bridegroom/best friend's birthday is in five days!

 this year we are spending christmas eve & christmas morning with my side of the family and then driving to kenucky, christmas afternoon, to have christmas dinner with brian's side of the family. we started a tradition last year where we each contribute something to christmas eve dinner, which we eat after our church's christmas eve service. my dad always makes steak, and the rest of the family has to draw between an appetizer, two side items, a salad, and a dessert. we drew tonight and brian and i will be making a side item. we dont know what we'll make yet, but we are thinking! 

since this is brian and i's first christmas as husband and wife, we want to have something special for just the two of us. so on christmas eve, we will wake up, in our own house, and i will make a spectacular breakfast. im thinking of taking a stab at this cinnamon baked french toast, courtesy of the pioneer woman


yessss, doesn't that look incredible? after breakfast, we'll exchange gifts and stockings and hang around for a little before we go to my parents. my aunt and cousins from denver will be here to celebrate with my family as well! it is always such a treat to see them. 

i received my first christmas gift a little early...saw yesterday that i got all a's this semester! (one was technically an a- which is weighted differently, but it's still an a in my book!)   

we have been singing christmas songs for worship during church and veritas the past few weeks and i love it. some of the lyrics are powerful. i love this part in o holy night:

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

i love that. jesus, your birth changed everything. 

and here's a sweet little picture from our most recent date night out. awww :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

a few things...

a few things that are making me smile today...

1. LOFT loves teachers.
for all you educators out there, you'll very much enjoy this teacher appreciation deal from ann taylor loft. i recently found out and signed up right away (although i cannot receive the discount until i am officially licensed.). basically, if you are an educator, you can get 15% off all merchandise any time you shop at ann taylor loft (in stores only). all you have to do is sign up, print the coupon they provide, and present your coupon and a valid school i.d. when you shop. in addition to getting a discount, you can collaborate with other educators and share classroom and fashion ideas in their forum. click here to see for yourself! j crew also offers a 15% discount for educators and students, which i love even more!

2. archer farms. one of my favorite grocery brands that can only be found at target. todays breakfast: gingerbread pancakes. todays lunch:  frozen flatbread pizza with tomatoes and goat cheese. yummm.

3. being as lazy as these sweet puppies.

4. tonights christmas get together for staff members at church.

5. christmas music. i wont even try to pick a favorite song because it's impossible.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


finished my finals today! ready to rest and really take in this christmas season. hallelujah :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

our first christmas decorations.

our first christmas tree. i am excited to start collecting ornaments 
and decorations over the years to come!

christmas decorating tip: hang ornaments from your chandeliers. 
these gold snowflakes work great in my kitchen and i may
 even leave them up all winter.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

you make beautiful things.

this song right here is the joy of knowing jesus.

"you make beautiful things
you make beautiful things out of dust.
you make beautiful things
you make beautiful things out of us.

you make me new,
you are making me new."

when you remain in him, you are constantly being renewed. you become more & more beautiful every day. so let your life reflect his beauty.  dress up & twirl; worship the lord with everlasting joy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

mint chocolate

 a wonderful christmas baking chip brownies or mint chocolate cookies...yum!

Monday, December 6, 2010

unique christmas gifts for $15 or less.

i absolutely love giving unique & meaningful gifts. i have so much fun with the thought and creativity that goes into it. when christmas comes, i want to go crazy. so, i decided to make a budget friendly list of wonderful gifts that i have given or would like to give at some point. these will look great under the tree, passed out at a christmas party, or stuffed in a stocking. be inspired & enjoy!

for the married couple: 
mr. & mrs. monogrammed mugs. -anthropologie
$12 for set of two

for the caffeine lover: 
Vintage Silverware Silver Plate Tea Honey Spoon Set Vintage Silverware Silver Plate Coffee Sugar Spoon Set

...or engraved spoons from sycamore hill $12.50-$13.50 each
Good Morning Sunshine - The Original Coffee and Espresso Spoons

The Original Coffee Espresso Spoon - XO Handmade by Sycamore Hill on Etsy

for anyone full of personality, young & old:

little miss & mr. books...there's one for everyone! these make funny gifts and work for kids and adults. i found some at barnes & noble for under $5 each

and remember, you can get creative and make your own gifts:

1. put together a sampler. purchase five to six sample sizes of anything (coffee packets, tea bags, hot chocolate packets, candy, soda, perfume, nail can literally do anything) and place in an appropriately sized basket. decorate with ribbons and bows. 

2. frame a meaningful photo

3. purchase a holiday plate, like this cute one, and put homemade cookies or candy on top. 

...the list is endless
remember to have fun with the gift wrapping! :)

here in the love of christ i stand.

this song moved me to tears this morning and always, always speaks to me:

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save...

jesus, make me one who loves you as you love me. make me one who loves others as you love me. make me one who loves until it hurts, and when it hurts, may i press through it until it doesn't hurt anymore. may i give and give and give love until it defeats hurt and pain, and brings victory through healing. thank you for living this agape love. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

pretty & whimsical wall decor.

this is my latest wall decor. decorating a house is a slow process, but the slow additions are fun :) i hung this picture up in my kitchen last night. i was in anthropologie recently and they had these cute teapot hand towels on sale and since it conveniently matched the color of my walls, i thought i would make use out of it. 

however, i think it's much too adorable to get dirty over time by actually using it to dry off hands so i made other plans. i had the frame at my house already and thought it would be perfect for displaying this pretty & whimsical towel. the black and white background is simply the wrapping paper i am wrapping gifts with this year! voila. wall decor.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a whirlwind

life has been a whirlwind of chaos, growth, love, and thankfulness. there is no doubt that i have been very stressed out at times, but i know that my life is very blessed. 

thanksgiving was perfect. we all went to a big & beautiful white house that sits on eleven acres of peacefulness. this is the house my husband grew up in and my side of the family came to celebrate too. not only did my side of the family come, but all the other parents of all the other inlaws in the family came as well. it was perfect! 

sunday night at veritas (the name for our sunday night youth service. it is latin for "truth") brian gave a message on taking communion. he explained that jesus commanded us to take it and remember his sacrifice for never take it lightly. it is to be greatly revered, but there is also such a joy in taking it. before the message we sat on the floor around a huge table and ate dinner together, like jesus and his disciples did at the last supper. while eating, we passed paper around and wrote something encouraging on each person's paper. after fellowship and the message, communion was offered to take as the spirit led us while we participated in worship. it was a special night :)

jason, emilee, and peyton were back from nigeria for a good five weeks and it was wonderful. peyton is adorable and full of personailty...i love that she is my niece! for christmas, brian and i gave her some character books from the little miss sunshine series: "little miss chatterbox" and "little miss fun." they describe her too well! they are all leaving to go back to nigeria today and saying goodbye last night was sad. they are doing so many wonderful things in nigeria though. 

yesterday brian and i celebrated being married for six amazing months. i cannot believe it has gone so fast. i love him so much! at dinner last night we started talking about christmas traditions that we want to start and we both got very excited.

CHRISTMAS!!! it is upon us. unfortunately, the next two weeks i will be scrambling to get final projects done as well as prepare for final exams. but after december 15th, i am a free woman....until the second week of january. i cannot wait to celebrate and treasure every second of the holidays this year. i looove giving gifts so i am having fun putting gifts together! this is such a fun time of year and i hope you are loving it as well :)

i didn't anticipate writing so much, but it just kind of happened! now i am off to class to give a presentation on one of emily dickinson's poems... hope everyone has a lovely evening :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving!

so this has been an extremely busy month with school and youth ministry and i have not had much time to blog. but i am wishing everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

i know you all have many things to be thankful for.

i am thankful for my Jesus, my family (a huuuugee one i am spending the next few days with!), and i have to say the cowgirl boots i am currently wearing, because they look really cute. i could make a list of about a zillion things if i had the time. but instead i will live a life of continual thankfulness and celebrate with some amazing people today :)

have a great day y'all!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

she is My beloved

i am a princess. all girls are. even if they live in tiny old attics. even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart or young. they're still princesses. all of us. -a little princess

we are his princesses. jesus takes our hands and guides us through this earthly journey, while all around us are the forces of darkness. they may taunt us, snicker at us, and rise up in a chorus of condemnation-but all the while almighty God looks into their faces and says, "say what you will. she is my beloved." -falling in love with jesus

...what really matters is that we be godly women, women who possess so much of jesus that people believe he exists because he is so powerful in us." -falling in love with jesus

every woman wants to be romanced; every woman wants to play an irreplaceable role in a heroic adventure, not just to be useful but to be irreplaceable; and every woman longs to have a beauty that's all her own to unveil, both an external beauty and an internal beauty as well. to be the beauty and to offer beauty. -captivating 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


please click here and watch this video...this woman is an abortion survivor and uses it for the glory of God. her story is amazing and she is so lovely. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

every single moment is undeniably beautiful.

 it's the little things that matter most.
 i want to wear the longest dress in the world and stand on top of a spiraling staircase and just look desperately beautiful...what a difficult life ;)
when i have time, i am going to create the perfect, homemade, strawberry layered cake...mmm my favorite :)

 haha these kitties crack me up <3
 i'll have some hot chocolate with my marshmallows, please.
 loving this quote. thinking about it.
they are simply gorgeous.

graceful <3

time for tea <3

the beauty of simplicity.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

an important piece

one of the reasons (actually the main reason) i want to be a teacher is so i can minister to children. i want to show them love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. i want to show them the spirit of jesus. i want to show them this because most won't get it at home. most won't get it from other teachers or students. i may be the only one to show them, although i hope and pray this is not the case. 

the class i am working in this semester is a first grade class. it is an urban school full of hunger (physically and emotionally), brokenness, abandonment, and poverty. yet because these are kids, there is still hope, imagination, and dreams. they can still be reached easier than if they were older. i want to grow my students not just intellectually, but emotionally, socially, and god willing, spiritually. so i am always thinking of lesson plans & activities that will build them up & encourage them. 

a little over a year ago my husband preached to the church about the body of christ and every one's role as a member...the point was that the church's tendency today is to come and get filled without really ever pouring herself out. she has become content and lukewarm. the message was entitled "don't be a missing piece." this suddenly came back to me when i was thinking of an activity to do with my first graders and i was inspired. 

so i bought a 24 piece puzzle and drilled a hole in each piece. i put each piece in a ziplock bag along with ten colorful beads and some string. i explained to the class that the whole class is like a puzzle and each student is a very important piece. without one student, our class is incomplete, just like a puzzle with a missing piece. i explained to them that they each have gifts, talents, and strengths that help make the class what it is and that each student is extremely special. 

they made necklaces out of the puzzle piece and beads to remind each child that he/she is special and important. they absolutely loved it, and even if the concept i explained was a bit abstract to them, i hope it stuck somehow. and if not, i hope that in a few years they will remember the activity and be encouraged by it. they wore their necklaces for the rest of the day. 

i am not sure how this activity would fly with kids above the age of 8, but my first graders, boys & girls, were so excited about it. depending on the grade i teach with the job i get, i would like to do this every year with my class. not only does it exemplify individual significance, but it helps create classroom unity. 

school should be a place where you are encouraged, believed in, grown, challenged, built up, and expected the best of. and it should give you precious memories. and i pray the holy spirit creates an atmosphere in my classroom where children will encounter him on some level. 

whenever i am discouraged and stressed about being in college, i try to remember that it will be worth it to build the kingdom of god in such a way.

Monday, October 25, 2010

garments of selflessness and sacrifice

     "one of the workers in the underground church was a young girl. the communist police discovered that she secretly spread gospels and taught children about Christ. they decided to arrest her. but to make the arrest as agonizing and painful as they could, they decided to delay her arrest a few weeks until the day she was to be married. on her wedding day, the girl was dressed as a bride--the most wondrous, joyous day in a girl's life! suddenly the door burst open and the secret police rushed in.
     when the bride saw the secret police, she held out her arms toward them to be handcuffed. they roughly put the manacles on her wrists. she looked toward her beloved, then kissed the chains and said, "i thank my heavenly Bridegroom for this jewel He has presented to me on my marriage day. i thank Him that i am worthy to suffer for Him." she was dragged off with weeping christians and a weeping bridegroom left behind. they knew what happens to young girls in the hands of communist guards. her bridegroom faithfully waited for her. after five years she was released--a destroyed, broken woman, looking thirty years older. she said it was the least she could do for her Christ. such beautiful christians are in the underground church."

-tortured for christ, richard wurmbrand

the exert above is one of many that really touched me. the book was written by an underground pastor who illegally and wholeheartedly devoted his life to spreading the gospel and served fourteen years in prison as a result. no amount of torture or threats could make him deny his First Love. this happened during the reign of the communist soviet union in romania. while romania has been liberated from communism, there are still many countries that severely persecute believers. we have no idea what our brothers and sisters in christ in many countries face. as a part of each other; as a part of one body, His Bride, we must love them and lift them up in prayer. the world is not worthy of such beautiful christians who love their heavenly Bridegroom even unto death. may our love grow just as strong and may we clothe ourselves with the garments of selflessness and sacrifice so that we can be the beautiful Bride that He is waiting to receive in the place that He has prepared.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

hope until the end

"Lord God, set my feet on a rock and give me a firm place to stand on. Help me to show earnestness by trusting in the full assurance of hope until the end, so that I may not be spiritually sluggish, but an imitator of those who through faith and by practice of patient endurance and waiting inherit the promises. For I need endurance, so that I may do Your will and receive what is promised. Deliver me from drawing back and shrinking in fear, for then You will have no delight or pleasure in me. But may I be among the just and righteous servants who live by faith in You."
-Prayer by Sheila Cragg in her Devotional, "A Woman's Walk With God"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

happy birthday mommy and sissy!

happy birthday today to my  mom, and to my sister who turned 15 on sunday. i love you both so much! what beautiful women you both are.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the savior of our brokenness

read this.

my beautiful friend anna started lightforce international to help stop sex trafficking in central america and to bring the hope of Jesus to those who have suffered from this terrible industry. she has a blog if you want to learn more about what she does. i love her most recent post, "broken has a face." 

Jesus is not only the savior of our sins, but he is the savior of our brokenness. we are not only to surrender our sin to him, but we are to offer him our hurts, our tears, and our brokenness. he is the ultimate comforter and healer. he is the only one who can make us new and whole again. 

therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 corinthians 5:17

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

glory upon the soul

Grace makes us glorious because it puts glory upon the soul, carries the soul above all earthly things, tramples the world under her feet; it prevails against corruptions that foil ordinary men.

Monday, October 11, 2010

every spiritual blessing

praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.                         -ephesians 1:3

Sunday, October 10, 2010

silk organza loveliness.

loveliness in the form of a pink organza dress and black heels. classic old hollywood beauty.

Organza Leighton dress
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