Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Now THAT is a calamity

Hey, it's me. 
Yep, I'm still here. 

And I've been thinking what to write, but I hate mid and late-winter and typically have nothing to share during those months except how much I hate it. 

When I began this blog, it was to write about all the ridiculous things that were happening to me because I was irresponsible, immature and had no clue how to live on my own. 

There was a good chunk of time of where no calamities were occurring hence the lack of writing. Marriage grew me up some, I guess.


Exhibit A:

I cut my finger in an immersion blender. Good times. Not really. Now before you yell at me, "Why didn't you turn the blender off?" or "Why did you stick your finger in a blender?" let me just say, it was not just a blender. It was an immersion blender. Apparently I am not the only one who has had a run in with the immersion blender. Anyways, I was using the blender to make a streusel topping more "streusely" and the brown sugar was clumping up in the blender. So I turned off the blender, stuck my finger in the blender to remove the stuck brown sugar, and accidentally tapped the on button, and swish went the blade through my finger.

The hubs rushed home to take me to the ER. I got 6 stitches. I was pretty proud of how tough I was...once at the ER. Not so tough at home holding my bleeding finger. 

Still no feeling. Its pretty cool. I'm weird like that.

I guess you can say I'm a modern-day Julia Childs...

(In case you are wondering, this is the censored photo. Your welcome.)

While calamities do still occur in my life, they are thankfully few and far between. 

Therefore, in order to still blog about something rather than just quit blogging all together, I thought I will just blog about things I enjoy: creating.

That's pretty broad. And I like it.

So in the words of Julia Childs, "Bon Appetite!"

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

{via pinterest}
Happy Valentine's Day to you and your valentine :)

And happy 9 years of being together to my honey. It's been the best 9 years!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Post-Christmas Decor

Happy Friday, friends!

It is a balmy 62 degrees here, today. I can't remember the last time it was this warm in January. I'm not really a big fan of snow. I only like it during Christmas, but I have to admit that I"m kinda bummed we haven't had more snow. HOWEVER, it looks like we might get some snow this Sunday! Eek! Weekend snow is the best, after Christmas snow, of course. It gives me the perfect excuse to hunker down in the house, drink some hot cocoa and watch a movie, read a book, craft, take a nap, cuddle with the husband, etc.

Last weekend, I packed away all the Christmas decor for next year. One of my New Year's resolutions is to spend less and save more. So, I've gone "shopping" around my house to figure out how to decorate post-Christmas. Is it just me, or is it hard to decorate after the holidays. Part of me misses the twinkle of the lights, but then another part of me enjoys the simplicity of less clutter. I've been trying to find a balance between a bit of twinkle, simplicity, winter and spring, and color. Below are photos of what I have done so far (I apologize for the poor photo quality. They were taken via Instagram). I'm thinking I need to add a bit more white, and I want to do that with my pillows. HOWEVER, I cannot spend money on new pillows, so I'm gonna have to get creative. 

This weekend, I plan on giving the house a good scrub. There is definitely a lot of glitter from Christmas floating around the house that needs to be vacuumed and scrubbed out of the floors. Lissa from the blog Keep It Simple, Keep It Fresh, has some great cleaning tips that I will be utilizing for this weekend project.

What are your plans for the weekend? Hope its a great one!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

{em-brace} 2013

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering 'it will be happier'...” ~ Alfred Tennyson

I love the quote above. Its so hopeful and very true! Last year was a great year for me and the husband. We spent a month vacationing in Australia, New Zealand and Bonaire, the husband graduated from medical school and began his residency in family medicine, I accepted a new job, we officially became homeowners, we bought a new car for the husband, and for me, friendships and relationships blossomed. 

It truly was a great year, but there were definitely some hardships in there too. A lot of growing and healing took place, which I thank the Lord for that both happened and continues to happen. Last year, I chose for "grace" to be my word of the year. Looking back now, I laugh at myself because I didn't really understand what grace meant when I chose it, but it truly was fitting for me. I think God placed that word on my heart because he knew it was something I needed to understand, take hold of, accept, and heal. I am a recovering perfectionist. I have these limitations ideals that I held for myself, and I  would often punish myself mentally if I didn't meet them. Living in a fallen world, I am destined to fall short, but that didn't stop me from pain of comparison, expectation, limitation, etc. 

A friend encouraged me to seek therapy from our church. I met weekly with the therapist for a few months, and she really brought to light that I didn't understand grace, wasn't accepting God's forgiveness and didn't understand who Jesus is or what he did for me. Ouch. I was mad at her. We dealt with a lot of past sins and struggles. While it was painful, it was also a blessing. 

My trip to Australia, New Zealand, and Bonaire was another blessing God had given me. Such an eye opening experience that really challenged me to push my self-imposed limits and witness God's love and beauty that he had created with me. I cage-dived with a great white shark, scuba dived the Great Barrier Reef, skydived over New Zealand, kayaked a fiordland, and had amazing experiences with the ocean. There was even one point, when I was praying praying praying and asking for God to let me see an eagle ray, one of my favorite sea creatures. After minutes and several diving trips of having not seen one, it appeared out of nowhere. Sounds crazy, but I know he was a gift from God. 

After the vacations, it was back to real life. Back to facing the reality that I needed to learn to accept God's grace, love and forgiveness. I felt lost and hopeless. Was I ever going to really understand what Jesus did for me on the cross? Yes, he died for me, Julie. Still confounding at times that God sent me a Savior to pay the ransom for my sin, and that my Savior, who loves me unconditionally and more than I could ever know, is also preparing a place for me in heaven one day. Confounding, yes, but I can say I believe it, accept it and cleave to it. He brought me and continues to bring me healing. 

I remember the day when the same friend who encouraged me to seek help, also pointed out that I had acknowledged that I was and felt forgiven. It stopped me in my thoughts. I had accepted God's grace and didn't even realize it! After all those years of  agonizing over my sin and imperfections, I had accepted God's grace, forgiveness and love, and I was free. This same friend also pointed out that the healing brought forth color. I love that she noticed that! How observant. Before, I only wore neutrals, decorated in neutrals and earth tones. These were part of my "restrictions," I guess. But now, I embrace color. I wear it, decorate with it, exude it, and dare I say, even push the limits on it. God's gift of grace physically set me free in so many ways.

I can honestly say that when I cry now, its not because I'm ashamed, but because I am so filled with love and gratitude for my Savior. My fear, shame, guilt, pain, etc., are gone. Yes, of course, those thoughts of unworthiness come back now and again, but I can immediately see what is going on, and stop it in its tracks. The Lord is my strength now; I don't depend on myself for that anymore and instead can find rest in Him.

Because of all these things, I have chosen "embrace" as this year's word of the year. God definitely placed this word on my heart. The stories I read in the Bible last year were all about redemption (although aren't they all?), and one thing I noticed with all of the stories from Adam & Eve to Paul, was that they involved people embracing one another after having experienced pain and redemption. The act of embracing involved crying, hugging, holding on tightly to one another and ultimately healing. In the dictionary, it means to cherish, love, to take up gladly and readily, to welcome. 

I'm embracing God this year and all that He brings me. No limitations, no expectations. I'm ready to welcome all that He blesses me with, the good and the bad, for I know that He works through all things for my good.

p.s. If you are still reading, I want to thank all who were involved in this process. Specifically, my husband. I am so thankful for his love, patience, forgiveness and encouragement. I also want to thank my parents and my friends. I am so blessed to have you all in my life, and I love you.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christmas 2012 {In Reveiw}

Hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas and New Year!

 The husband and I had a great holiday although, I wish the days didn't fly by so fast. This year was especially crazy with me taking my project management (PMP) exam 2 weeks before Christmas, and the husband finding out days before Christmas that he had to work on Christmas Day. So, we made the most of the situation and celebrated Christmas with his family on Saturday, Dec. 22, then I drove up to Illinois to be with my family on Sunday and Monday, then I drove back home on Christmas Eve night so I could be with my husband and celebrated Christmas with just me and the husband without any family for the first time in both our lives, and then we drove back to Illinois on Saturday, Dec. 29 to celebrate Christmas with my family, and finally drove back home on Sunday, Dec. 30. Phew! I'm tired just looking back at it all, but it was so much fun, I'd do it all over again if I could. And you can bet we crashed hard this past weekend. I think the husband slept a whole 24 hours, bless his heart...he just started 3 weeks of nights. No rest for the weary!

As I mentioned, the husband and I spent Christmas day together. Just us. It was a first. And it was pretty great. We established some of our own traditions, which was fun. The night before Christmas, I had him open a present which contained some very soft and very loud Christmas pajamas. On Christmas morning, I woke up before him to turn on all the Christmas lights and turn on some Christmas music (just like my parents do for me), made coffee and cinnamon rolls with extra icing, and then woke him up to eat breakfast. I think I will love being a parent because I really enjoyed preparing the morning for him, and I got so giddy from his smiles as he ate the cinnamon rolls...Its the little things that make me happy. Next, we opened presents and stockings. The husband was very good to me. I got a bracelet I wanted, CDs, bath salts (the anti-drug kind), picture magnets for the fridge (which I needed) and...I think my favorite thing was the digital meat thermometer because he knows how much I hated our previous one. I mean how considerate and aware is that! I loved the thought he put into it. After lounging a bit, we headed to the movie theater, where it was PACKED, to see The Hobbit. Nothing says Christmas like trolls, hobbits, wizards and Schmeegle. After the movie, we came home and I cooked an awesome dinner. I made Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, brussel sprouts, cranberry jello and Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes with whiskey cream sauce. It was seriously good. And for my family's Christmas party, I made White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake. Holy moly. Make it. You'll thank me.

We ended the night with a reading of the real Christmas Story from the chapter of Luke. The husband read. It was a great way to end a special day. And I realized, I already had everything I could have ever wanted for Christmas - my Savior, my husband, family, friends and lots of love.
The husband in his sassy Christmas pjs.

Bracelet by Leigh Ann Herrin Design

Print by Katie Daisy

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas cheer

Today is one of those days when I need to go sing some Christmas carols. 

BUT, instead of focusing on my "whoa is me's," I'll just focus on the goodness and faithfulness of Jesus, and the glow of our Christmas tree.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Grace by Enstrom
I've seen this photograph a lot throughout my life, but I recall it the most from my childhood. I have seen this photo either at my grandparents' home or at my childhood church home. Either way, it has always stopped me in my tracks. 

The sincerity, deference and humility in his face and gesture is very convicting to me. And then, I read the story behind the photograph. In 1918, Eric Enstrom, the photographer, was approached by the bearded, old man, a peddler with foot-scrapers to sell. It was a chance encounter, and Enstrom asked if he could photograph him. He was preparing for a portfolio of pictures to take with him to a convention of the Minnesota Photographer's Association. "I wanted to take a picture that would show people that even though they had to do without many things because of the war they still had much to be thankful for," Enstom said. 

God has blessed me beyond what I deserve. Hence, grace. He has given me so much more in life than I could have ever dreamed. An amazing, sweet husband, encouraging and supportive parents and in-laws, so many loving and unconditional family members and friends, a new job with kind and caring co-workers, and, and, and. The list goes on forever...

...But, how often do I take the time to truly thank God for all that I have been given. To get down on my knees, bow my head, fold my hands and thank him. Not enough, I can tell you that.

I am reminded to be thankful this season. Not just on Thanksgiving day, but every day. 
Every day is a gift; everything I have is from God and I am beyond blessed that He took the time to think of me.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God..." ~ Eph. 2:8