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 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

life {lately}

I have been quiet on here, and for that I apologize. But on the other hand, maybe that's not such a bad thing because it means I'm living life, right :) And you know I love fall, so I've just been so busy enjoying the most out of the season.

So, what have I been up to? Where to start!? Hmm, let's see. I visited family for my dad's birthday, went to a pumpkin patch, visited family for mi madre's birthday, hosted my first witch party (which I will post next time about :)), hosted my first garage sale, been drinking wine by the fire, cooking comfort food for my love and just recently, I was bit by the cleaning/organization bug, and I cannot stop cleaning!? Who am I?? Oh, and I've also been dabbling in some crafts. So, you see, I've been busy. Busy having fun!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An instagram kind of life

Happy October friends!

Life has been busy and good, so today's post only features photos from around home. A picture is worth a thousand words, right!? So enjoy, my pretties ;)

Mom and I riding our bikes "Thelma and Louise."
Preparing for my Witch Soiree!
Homemade Whole-wheat Irish Soda Bread
Irish Lamb Stew

An amazing concoction :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Citrus obsession

I love limes and lemons. When life gives you limes, make a margarita, is my motto. 

It seems like limes and lemons are a must on my grocery list these days. And not just one or two, but FIVE of each! I know what two certain mothers are gonna say, "ARE YOU PREGNANT?" Nope. Although I did Google and find that if you are craving citrus, you are having a girl. But, I'm sorry to tell you ladies that I'm not pregnant. Just loving all things citrus...with a bit of cilantro, avocado, tomatoes, onions and maybe a splash of tequila. 

So, here is my citrusy meal plan for the week!

Friday: Jalapeno and Mango Sausages with Potato Fries and Grilled Corn on the Cob with Jalapeno Butter

Tuesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Leftovers

Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy August!

Happy August, friends!

I can't believe its already here. The summer has really flown by with the summer heat being ridiculously hot. I am determined to enjoy the rest of my summer and attempt to be outside as much as I can. More swimming, walking, biking...hopefully no more staining the fence {see photo below}

That's me after 8 hours of staining our fence in the 100+ degree weather. The only good thing about this photo is that I look like a BA {Bad Ass}. And I wanted to kick one certain fellow's arse after shaking his finger at me for not staining the fence 2 months after he power washed it. But, HELLO!? Its seriously seriously hot out there. HOWEVER, I do think I lost like 5 lbs. of water from working outside, which made me smile when I stepped on the scale.

Anyways, I am a bad person. BECAUSE, I'm looking forward to the fall. UGH, I know, I know. Wasn't I just saying I was determined to enjoy the rest of the summer!? And I am. Seriously, I am. But, a girl can day dream, right?

I am down for all the things listed above. And little does the hubs know, but he is too!

{Pumpkin Pancake recipe}
{Banana Nutella Pumpkin Bread recipe}

Tuesday, July 31, 2012



Hmm...where to begin...

Well, if you are still reading this blog, then you probably guessed from my last post that I have been a bit down. This period of sadness began after I returned to the States from my almost one month of traveling to Australia, New Zealand and Bonaire. Traveling, exploring, chasing after sharks (which totally freaked out the hubs; an unexpected response to seeing sharks), living life on the edge, and seeing God's beauty, really awakened my soul. I found myself pondering a lot of things about life, and I felt like God was pushing me to do something, but I didn't know what to do. I just felt helpless and lost. I won't go into details, but I finally decided to do something about it. 

I began to pray. 

I asked God to reveal to me what he wants for my life. If he wanted me to stay put, then I prayed for him to help me to be more content, joyful and grateful for the life I have been given. But, if he had a different plan than what I was currently doing, I prayed for him to lead me and I would trust in him and follow. 

I became more and more restless, but I also was clinging tighter and tighter to God putting my complete trust and faith in him. 

I also began reaching out to others. Thank you God for friends and family. He has given me some amazing, wonderful and supportive people in my life, who have really given me so much love, joy and encouragement these past few months. Not too mention, a wonderful, patient and loving husband. Thank you to all who prayed, emailed me, sent me an encouraging song, scripture, positive quote from Pinterest :), sat and cried with me, and simply love me.

Joy was slowly restored, hope replaced despair, peace came over me and God healed my broken thoughts.

A job opportunity fell into my lap. A completely new career path that would take advantage of my skill set in a new and productive way. 

I prayed earnestly to God about it. As did many others.

And in 3 weeks, I will start this new path. I am still in shock how quickly God moved. I was chosen over people who had experience, who were certified, who were more knowledgeable.

But, they chose me. In fact, I was told that they "loved" my personality and enthusiasm. 
That is all God's doing.

I tell you this not to boast about myself, but to boast about what God has done for me. Just in case you are where I was, I truly and whole-heartedly believe that if you bring it to God, trust in him, completely surrender to his will, he will do things in your life that will amaze you. Because he loves you that much. It may not be what you expected or planned, but it is what he has created especially for you. 

"Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!" ~ Psalm 66:16-20

Monday, July 9, 2012

Heart notes


I've been thinking about God a lot this summer. Just thinking about all of his creations - flowers, birds, fish, rain, humans, relationships, love, joy, sorrow, etc. These are the things that consume my life currently.

Here's our patio with all of our flowers. I am kind of obsessed with flowers this summer. We don't have cats or dogs, so flowers are my pets, I guess. I love our patio, and when its not too hot, I enjoy sitting out here in our "jungle" and sipping on lemonade.

Here is a photo of my crazy hibiscus tree. It decided today that it wanted to bloom some yellow flowers in addition to its pink blooms. Next to the hibiscus tree is my crazy lantana flowers. I have found with these little guys that they need lots of water, nurturing and room to grow. Kind of like humans, huh?

In addition to flowers, we have fish! The hubs finally completed his year-long project of building a fish tank, and its a beauty folks. Here are two newest fishies - Bon and Jovi. They are a mated pair of cardinal fish. They are kind of high maintenance, only wanting the best food.

So, back to God. Sometimes in this big world made smaller thanks to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., I begin to compare myself to others, and begin to feel heavy thoughts of worthlessness. I find myself comparing my body, my clothes, my career, my home, my successes, and feeling less than everyone else. Once these thoughts/lies take hold, I find myself striving for perfection in all areas of my life, which makes me tired and want to give up because I'm never going to be enough. I'm never going to meet the expectations of this world. These thoughts are so futile and hurtful to my heart, and I know they are hurtful to God's heart as well, since he has blessed me with so much more than I deserve, and loves me enough to send his only Son to die for me as a ransom for my sin so that I may have eternal life with him in heaven. 

Thankfully, God has been speaking so much truth to my heart lately. I like to think of them as "heart notes" - reminders of God's love for me. On Saturday while I was preparing to go spend some time with a sweet friend, God began to tell me about how precious, beautiful, perfect and loved I am by him. He created me to glorify him. I am his creation. His masterpiece. He delights in me. In his sight, I am perfect. And he wants me to see myself as he sees me. He does not want to me to live up to the expectations of this world. He has overcome this world. And in him, I am enough. I am free to be me. And that is such a beautiful and precious gift. I am so thankful for God and his truth he speaks to me.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~ Matthew 6: 25 - 34

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memorial Day, 2nd Anniversary and Power washing

What a title, huh? My title could actually just be "Power washing" and that would pretty much sum up my life these past few days.

My Memorial Day weekend started off with a wedding in St. Louis at a gorgeous winery/vineyard in Defiance, Mo. The hubs and I had actually looked at Chandler Hill Vineyard for a wedding spot, but ultimately decided on the Hobbs Building in Kansas City...still a good choice confirmed by the both of us. But, the vineyard truly was beautiful as was the bride. Weddings are just so happy. I love being a part of them and attending them. I mean, who doesn't love celebrating love!? 

Photo by me
Photograph by Blake Peterson

Photograph by Blake Peterson
On Memorial Day, the hubs decided he wanted he and I to tackle a project together. Enter power washer. We decided to power wash the house (a very much needed project!), the deck and the fence. Power washing took 2 days, and it was a heckofalotta work! Two sunburns, many bug bites and buckets of perspiration later, the house, deck and fence are now power washed and stripped clean of all mildew, mold, dirt, grime, etc. Next step, stain the deck and the fence. Lord help us.

The hubs blasting the heck out of the fence.

Left side is before power washer and the right side is after the power washer!
In addition to Project Power Wash, the hubs and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. Its hard to believe two years have already passed since our wedding day. It still is one of the happiest days of my life. We watched our wedding video yesterday, and all the memories and emotions came flooding back to me. So much joy, love and hope was all packed into that day. And two years later, there is still so much joy, love and hope in our marriage, if not more than the day we got married. I love being married and being able to serve my husband, cuddle with him on the couch and in bed, make him laugh on a daily basis and see my best friend every day and every night. Saying "I do" to forever with him is one of the best decisions I've ever made. And I look forward to the many years of joy, laughter and love that lies ahead for us.

Happy 2nd Anniversary to my best friend. Thank you for choosing me.

Photograph by LemonLime

Friday, May 18, 2012

Eyes open and hearts full

Image via Katie Daisy
Something happened to me while I was in Australia, New Zealand and Bonaire, N.A. I became a full-on nature lover. I always loved nature, but the ocean, rainforest and mountains gave me a new appreciation for God's creations. Also, I've been reading Genesis in the Bible and read that we are to be stewards of God's creations. Reading that gave me this sense of responsibility to protect, love and nurture God's beauty. For example, when I was in New Zealand, there were two young women throwing rocks at the ducks, and I yelled at them. Yea, ME! I yelled at two complete strangers. And they stopped, but not without talking back to me. But, I think the ducks appreciated it and then proceeded to show their love by surrounding me and getting a little too close for comfort. But, I let them and even fed them some bread.

This little lady loved me and wouldn't leave me alone.
Anyways, I digress...I felt responsible, and while traveling, I began to see the beauty in birds, fish, trees, plants, etc. One of my favorite things the Hubs and I did in Australia was see the bird exhibit at the Cairns Tropical Zoo. Birds are seriously cool! And, while in Bonaire, I had the most amazing experience with turtles. One turtle swam so close and spent a lot of time with me and my friends, and another turtle, who was perched on a sea fan, let me swim right up to him. I was literally a foot away from him and he leaned into me like he wanted to kiss me. I melted. 

A friendly sea turtle.

And of course, there was my experience with the manta ray at the Great Barrier Reef and the eagle ray in Bonaire. The Lord really blessed me  on these trips. 

Me and the Manta Ray diving the Great Barrier Reef.
I returned home wanting to serve God in my own little way. I began planting and planting and PLANTING lots of flowers. The more flowers the better. I've been planting zinnias, daisies, cosmos, basil, geraniums, marigolds, ferns, hibiscus trees, a vibernum bush, and lots more flowers. My hibiscus tree has attracted a hummingbird, which I'm very excited to watch feed this weekend as I sit on my deck drinking coffee. Also, my mom gave me a some bird seed for our bird feeder that we got from the Hubs' "Mammy." I filled it to the brim the other day, and the birds are loving it! So far, I've seen cardinals, robins, mourning doves, chickadees and finches. I'm excited to observe them too!
The Hubs and I also will be digging up two trees that died :( and planting two new trees, but we're going to wait for the fall to do that. BUT, we are thinking a ginkgo tree and possibly a globe locust or a smoke tree.

AND, here's something crazy...I want to own chickens. Like really bad. I even got pamphlets educating me about chickens and building chicken coops at an Earth Day exhibit. And I posed with a chicken too...

Can't you see the love in that chicken's eyes for me!
One day, I will own chickens, ducks, goats and a donkey. Maybe even a cow and horse, if I'm really lucky :)
I think the Hubs is feeling this sense of responsibility too because he has been building a fish tank for almost a year! And last week, he finally completed it. I believe its a 65 gallon tank with a 40 gallon tank below it to help filter, monitor, etc. the tank above. Currently, we have 2 hermit crabs (Barnacle Bob and George), 2 snails and 1 coral, but we hope to get more soon. He has put a ton of work into the tank, but I'll feature his craftsmanship in a different post. 

Anyway, the Hubs and I are loving God and all His beauty, and are doing are best to glorify Him.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend basking in the sunshine, sipping on ice tea and smelling the roses. 

"Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." ~Job 12:7-10