4.29.2013

X&Y

Actually, I'm not exactly going to post the weekend topic here. The letter was X, and the word I chose was xenophobia / xenophilia. But, I felt it was a way too politically charged post with the current events as of late. I debated about whether to post it anyway, but decided against it this morning. If you are unfamiliar, Xenophobia/-philia is the fear (or love) of foreigners. For the record, I am neither. I'm also agnostic about immigration/emigration, that is to say I can't decide what I think is a wrong or a right stance for a country to take. I suppose it depends on that country. 

Like I said, too political. 

And we all know politics don't make friends. 

SO. 

Today's post is Y, which is for Yesterday. I said goodbye to my Sergeant yesterday. It was a trial run -- he won't be gone long -- but it sure felt like the real thing. And that's all I have to say about that. 

Forgive my brevity. I'm just not in an awesome mood today. I didn't get much sleep and, well, Gracie doesn't talk. 

I hope you all have a fantastic Monday, though! I'll be back tomorrow with some form of sarcastic wit that you'll find irresistible. 

So here's a song for the road. The Sarge and I love(d) Coldplay. Are you a fan of theirs? Have you heard this song before? What do you think??





love, me


4.26.2013

W is for Wordpress.org

I hope I didn't build up your expectations about the W post lol. This is a strictly technical post!

This blog (as you may or may not notice) is hosted by blogger. I really like blogger because it's integrated well with my Google accounts, lots of people use GFC or actually have a blogger account, and I can attach a domain to it for free. 

But I really, REALLY like Wordpress. The problem is, the .COM Wordpress has tons of limitations and in some cases, ads. That really bugs me. Also, they want to charge me $13 just to MAP my domain, which blogger does for free. Which is dumb. I've considered just making a blogger template that looks like a Wordpress site, but the other reason I like Wordpress is that it is a bit more stable than Blogger. 

Recently, I acquired a new domain name for my Posh business. I want to create a Wordpress blog for it, but I want to use the .ORG rather than the .COM. Do any of you know anything about doing that? I'm totally clueless to the FTP process. I used to do it in middle school, but I had webpage builders and let's be honest... it's changed a bit in the past 20 years lol. Most of the tutorials are about one level higher than my comprehension. I need a basics blog. Maybe, when I figure it out, I'll write my own series! 

Who has experience? Who can help me?!

Do you prefer blogger or wordpress, and why? Have you moved from one to the other?




love, me


U is for Update and V is for Veneration

Well, this will be a quick, quick post because I have a "W" all lined up in my mind (which also means I'm caught up!).

The U is for update, which is an update on my 30 before 30.

1. Read 30 books. 
In April, I read...
The Kitchen House / Let's Just Pretend This Never Happened / 

2. Do at least one non-meal Pinterest craft every month
In April I took this pin as inpiration: 

So, I'm going to frame it and put these pictures on either side:

the first time the Sarge saw the (Pacific) ocean
at our first duty station in California

Our first time visiting the Atlantic ocean together
in Cocoa Beach, FL

12. Answer the "50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind"
As of April, I have answered about one of these so.. yeah.. not much in the way of progress, but it's more than nothing!

19. Establish wills for myself and the Sarge. 
Sergeant J did his this month. So we're half way there.


21. Paint/finish the bathroom. 
YAY!! This one is actually done!! Read the post here

23. Buy a dress that makes me feel pretty.



26. Get promoted with Perfectly Posh. 
The goal is to get promoted to Pink Plus 3. I got promoted to Pink Plus 2 at the end of March and it was official April 10th(ish)! So yay!!

---

And, since I don't have much time, the "V" for veneration will be short. 


But recently I've been really convicted about what takes precedence in my life, and what should. Veneration means to hold something in high esteem, or even to worship it. 

Jesus tells us that where our treasure is, our heart also is (Matt 6:21). Since in our culture time is money, it seems to me that where we spend our money and our time says a lot about what we value and what's important to us.

What do I spend my time and money on?

-The first thing I do when I wake up is often check my phone/facebook.
-I have be known to buy video games at full price because I want them as soon as they come out.
-Sometimes I go on App "shopping sprees", easily spending $10 or more on apps that I probably use one or two times. Not a very good steward!
-Often when I can't sleep, I "kill time" on the computer.

We are to be good stewards of what we've been given, including time. Time wasted on the things I listed is time NOT spent "binding" the words of God on my arms and forehead (or in my heart); it's time I'm not serving (or even thinking about) others. What is important to me? I mean... what is REALLY important to me? Not just in word, but in deed?

Am I proud of these things? NO. But I want it to be clear that I'm not just writing these types of posts to preach to you, I'm preaching to myself as well. My seminary's PhD program requires students to chronicle every hour of every day for three months. I'll bet that is a pretty eye opening exercise for people who have dedicated their "lives" to service to God and the Good News of the Gospel.

What do you venerate??



love, me


4.24.2013

T is for Typography

I am running behind in the challenge today, but hopefully I will be caught up with a U post this evening. Part of the challenge for me was to get up each day and actually take the time to think and write. Sometimes that means I get behind. But I've not been doing too bad, have I?

So, T is for typography. I LOVE fonts! I have been downloading fonts for twenty years, since Windows 3.0. Yeah.

Here are some of my current (free--at least for personal use) favorites. Enjoy!




Miserably Lose at Kevin & Amanda's Free Scrapbook Fonts
Hit the Road at DaFonts.com
Milkmoustachio by Tup Wanders
The Only Exception by Kimberly Geswein
Ostrich Sans at Font Squirrel
A Gentle Touch by ByTheButterfly
Jenna Sue by Jenna Sue!
KG Eyes Wide Open by Kimberly Geswein
Cabin at Impallari
Wish I Were Taller at Kevin & Amanda's Free Scrapbook Fonts
Simply Glamorous by Brittney Murphy
Lavanderia at Lost Type
Museo at exljbris Font Foundry
Clementine Sketch at DaFonts.com
League Gothic at The League of Moveable Type



















Favorite S posts:
S is for Shasta at My Morning Cup of Coffee because ghost towns are rad.
S is for Sentence at Here's the Story. Because, THANK YOU someone else knows proper grammar by ear.
S is for Simply (Live Minimally) at Our Life.. Plain and Simple. Because clutter free is peace in this house.




love, me


4.22.2013

S is for Submission

*This really ended up being much longer than I anticipated. Sorry about that! Bless you if you're patient enough to hear me through to the end!



Have you ever seen Mona Lisa Smile? It's one of my favorite movies. Julia Roberts plays Katherine Ann Watson, a free-spirited forward thinker, accepts a job at Wellesley in the 50s, expecting to impact the lives of the women at the prestigious all-girl college. What she finds, though, is a fancy finishing school behind the university doors. Of the many girls she meets, two stand out: one is a snooty member of high society, waiting on her life as a housewife and mother; the other is a wildly brilliant woman who is madly in love with her boyfriend. Katherine encourages Joan, the bright student, to apply to law school but in the end Joan decides that she would prefer her life as a wife. It's what she chose.

Katherine's problem is what I think is the problem for many women today: she didn't see that some people want their station to be primarily in the home. Not because they've been brainwashed, or abused, or forced into some kind of backwards submission; and certainly not because they are ignorant. Because they want it. She overlooked the very thing she wanted for her girls, which was the option to choose. Some women will choose law school (or medical school, or seminary, or whatever their hearts might desire) and the subsequent career, and I think that deserves an enormous amount of respect. Some will chose the home station, and I think in our culture that demands respect as well. It is counter cultural. Though it seems like at home wives are gaining some respect again, it is not without scrutiny.

Why don't women want to stay at home? Well, just like the stars in the sky, each one is unique in her reasoning. But one thing I have heard said to my face is, "I can't imagine a life of submission."

Hm.

Now this is a bit of an aside... but maybe that's our problem! Not just women, but the human race. Our knowledge of good and evil, our pride, has made us blind to our own depravity. Not by the world's standards of course. By God's standards. And his standards are so high! The Old Testament is full of laws that were parameters to keep God's people from sin and in fellowship with him. But, if you've read the Old Testament you would see: it couldn't be done! Not well, anyway. The penalty for sin is death. It has always been death. That's why there were regular sacrifices to symbolically remove sin from the person, the family, and even the entire camp. That's why Christ became the perfect sacrifice. And the least we could do in response is what he's asked of us.. not out of a slave mentality, but out of gratitude for what he has done to set us free from the penalty of sin.

Our marriages are to be modeled after the relationship of Christ and the church. Christ was sacrificed, selflessly offering atonement for a fallen world, for the benefit of those who would accept his gift. In response to this undeserved and overwhelming gift of life, the church responds with obedience and spreading the good news so that all may hear and choose life.

And then the hard passage:
"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." Eph. 5:22-24
As wives, then, we consider our husbands the head of the house just as Christ is the head of the church. Could it have been set up another way? Probably. But it wasn't. So I can't complain about God doing what he's done! We are to submit to the head of the church. Christ did not lead by force or violence. He lead in truth. Likewise, a husband should also lead in truth. Paul (the writer of Ephesians) has three verses for the woman.. but for the man, he has a veritable paragraph: 
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Eph 5:25-33, emphasis my own)
Only in a committed, two sided relationship can this model thrive. Sergeant J gives of himself selflessly every day. Is he human? Yes. Do we fight? Of course. But I know he is as committed to this model as I am. That's biblical manhood and womanhood. It's not subversive, it's beautiful. The Sarge has a high stress job and I want him to come home to a happy home; this is one way in which I submit. For us, there is no happy home when I work full time. (At least not now... my anxiety at this stage of our lives is, well, impressive.) So I stay at home. But many women who work (and many who make more money than their husbands) still believe this model for marriage. It works. It doesn't always look the same, so we shouldn't try to bind all women to one model -- not the subservient model and not the feminist model.

Katherine's ideas weren't bad. She wanted to rescue the girls at Wellesley from the hard mold for women in the 50s. The problem is, not all of us need to be rescued.

Well, from our husbands, at least.



Favorite R posts:

R is for Rupophobia at Living Learning and Loving. I think a list of phobias is a fantastic idea but I'm afraid of what T might be. 
R is for Recycling Resilient Reads at Practically at Home. Great idea!
R is for Redeemed at Living in the Light. Because YES!
R is for Rivalry by Mary at Life in a Small Town... probably my favorite aspect of small town living!
R is for Radical vs. Rebellious by Melody at Refractions and Reflections.



love, me


4.20.2013

R is for Revenge

I have only once sought out "revenge" for someone who really hurt me.

I will not lie to you. It was pretty satisfying. I had an "inside man" who was able to update me on the progress of my vengeful act. But it wasn't satisfying for long.

First of all, it was stressful to plan in the first place (I couldn't risk getting caught -- don't worry it wasn't illegal!). I couldn't be a person who planned to make life hard for people regularly. It doesn't come naturally and it took way more energy than just dealing with the hurt -- because I had to deal with the hurt anyway. Second, the elation of victory was followed by the long and difficult depression of guilt. Not only did I feel guilty, but I had that hurt thing to deal with as well. Not fun.

We confuse revenge with "an eye for an eye". Hurt is not equal to hurt. For example, getting your heart broken is not the same as making said heart breaker late for work or even lose their job. It is impossible to recreate your hurt in another person, so don't try. This is the wisdom of the happy life.


Favorite Q posts:

Q is for (Some) Questions Cannot Be Answered by Samantha May at Writing Through College -- I really love her format for this challenge.
Q is for Quentin Tarantino at life of riles because Quentin Taratino MIGHT be my favorite movie screenwriter/director/producer/bad ass of all. time. Seriously. Sorry I had to use the ass word. It's just truth. Oops, I did it again. Forgive me. But don't watch his movies if that gave you the yips lol.
Q (and R) is for Quentessential Radio at thecontemplativecat because... best post ever.
Q is for Quit It at Questions Unasked and Unanswered. Amen sister.
Q is for Quiet/Quiet Time at Three Sides of Crazy, Diary of the Sunday Visitor, Little Moments, My loves my life, and summed up best by Diary of a Square Toothed Girl





love, me


4.19.2013

Q is for Quick Trips (and Posts)


Do you travel spontaneously? 

The Sarge has a three(ish) day break between classes coming up, and I'm seriously thinking of traveling to Boston for the weekend (not this weekend... I'm crazy but not THAT crazy!). It's not too far from where he'll be, and would make a great weekend trip. 

Have you been to Boston, or are you from there? What are some things we can't miss? 


We love taking unexpected trips, it's one of the benefits of not having children. Heck, it's one of the benefits of being a housewife (no conflicting schedules). We've done everything from theme parks to historical (and ghost) tours, to just staying in a hotel a couple hours away. This trip is meant to savor some of our last days together before a long, long separation.

In honor of said trip... I'll be purchasing some fun travel accessories. We usually don't have to fly to where we're going, but this time I'll need a carry on. That's right.. I'm going to tackle the no-checked-baggage challenge. I am a notoriously heavy packer, so it should be fun. First, I'm getting this cute little carry on from Initials, Inc. 


As much as I'm obsessed with bright hues right now, I will probably get the Pewter color. There's something about a neutral that just tugs at my heart strings :)

Maybe I'll get this smaller piece in yellow... that would go right along with my yellow/grey obsession. This is a little makeup bag to go inside the larger one above.

And... why the heck not?

This is called a "Tune Keeper". It has an earbud cord keeper and
is big enough for the Samsung Galaxy or iPhone 5 WITH their cases.
Plus pockets for gym cards or IDs. I like it!

Just a little pouch.

and.. why not a key fob??


I'm sorry to be so short today, but we have a serious kitchen problem, AND our dryer is kaput so I have some housewife duties to take care of this morning. I can't wait to read everyone's posts! 


love, me




P.S. I haven't figured out how some people email me when I comment on their posts. Can I do that, too? I hear talk of it, and I think I've done it once or twice (on accident). Do you get alerted when I reply to your comments? Or do I have to email? Thanks, bloggy friends. Sorry I'm so clueless :) 

4.18.2013

P is for Pampering

Today I'm receiving a big order of Posh stuff. (You may or may not know, I'm a consultant for a direct sales company called Perfectly Posh... we sell pampering goodies. And, well, yes.. it was kind of a given that at least ONE post would talk about it. So. Here you go.)

I'm really excited. I love getting packages, for one, and I love treating myself to a pampering afternoon. Sometimes it's my toes getting the love, sometimes my face.. sometimes it's a long soak in the tub. But you know what? I don't think women think they have time for this kind of thing. You don't need an hour or a hundred bucks to go to the spa. You don't even need (and I say this begrudgingly) Perfectly Posh. What you DO need is a mentality that says, hey, I deserve this. Then you march into your shower, and you take those 5 minutes to yourself, and you make them special by dropping a bath bomb into the shower for aroma therapy. Or you light a candle while you wash your face, and use gentle circular motions and pretend you're getting a facial. Or you you wear a mask around the house and scare the kiddos but appreciate the extra moisture. Or you just put on some mascara, because for goodness sake you want to look like a woman again!

I'm just saying. People (women) get this pampering thing all ruffled up in their minds but stop doing that and start splurging on something to make the mundane pleasant. And when I say splurging, I mean spend $9 on some bath bombs, skip the bath, and use them five or six times in the shower. Stop being so complicated and be nice to yourselves sometimes. Also, think outside the box. Men, too. I know that doesn't appeal to men nearly as much, but what's the hold up? It's nice to smell good every now and then! The Sarge won't admit it to you, but he has enjoyed his aloe aftershave. We don't judge you 'round these parts.

And there's my discourse on pampering for the everyday person. You're welcome. 

Also, if you're interested, here's what I did today to pamper myself:
-In my shower, I have a scrubby loofah, which is about as pampering as it gets, but I took it a step further and used a scrub on my arms, legs and torso instead of the regular body wash.
-I washed my face with a pepperminty face wash. If you've ever used one, you know what it's like. It's cooling and almost tingly. Because why not?
-I used a detoxing mud mask this morning. I put it on, took the dog out (yup, you read that right), and rinsed it off after I fed her.
-My moisturizer has caffeine in it.. so let's just call that a wrinkle fighting treatment.

It's not even noon folks. I just saved $50 at the spa and it's not. even. noon. Get to loving yourself friends!



Favorite O posts:


O is for Oven by Sandy at Sandy Sanderella's Musings ...because GREAT THINGS come from that over there. Yum!
O is for Obsidian by Aimee at AimeeKay's Reviews and Awesome Randomness! ... because I'm always looking for a good book to read!
O is for Overrated (video games) at The NovaBug Blog. Even though one of my favorite games was on the list (GTA San Andreas) but I don't judge.
O is for the Old Princess at The Multicolored Diary ...because basically, this should be a Disney movie





love, me


4.17.2013

O is for Orlando

I'm having a hard time thinking of something to write that isn't a novella.

But then I thought... I live near Orlando! DUH! Sometimes, it takes me a while.

If you haven't been here, Orlando is a fun place. I mean there's Disney and that. But it's a charming place on the opposite side of town too. I have found a fun book club and we always eat at really, really good restaurants.

And here is the truth. I don't like crowds, heat or humidity, so I'm pretty sure I'll spend the summers being a hermit. Also, the people here are... okay. We have now been to seven churches, and I think we've had a total of 4 people talk to us. And three of them were at one church. I find that to be totally unacceptable. I know I've mentioned this before, but it is really shocking. All the more each time we visit a new place. In the end, I know that we will find the place God intends for us, and the people may not talk to us in the beginning. So I'm prepared for that. But my goodness, Orlando!

My parents came to visit and we went to Cocoa Beach (a small, apparently unknown beach, too -- for the win), Downtown Disney (as they would not let me take them to Disney! LOL), Winter Park and some of the many, many shopping areas around town. Not to mention all the great food. And we had a great time. So in my book, Orlando wins. It's a strange place, in that it's not the country but it's not exactly urban... and it isn't a sleepy town but it usually doesn't feel quite as busy as it really is (unless you go into a Ross). And it's not exactly ghetto, but I wouldn't call it ...um... upscale either (or even midscale in some cases--and I'm pretty sure that "midscale" is a word). At least not where we live lol! It's a conundrum. But God has us here and I'm excited to find out exactly why.

When we began our active duty tour with the military, I told the Sarge that I hoped we could live in places we wouldn't otherwise be able to or choose to live. I was thinking of New England. Or Germany. Or San Francisco or New York City (because we probably couldn't afford it otherwise). Or Italy (swoon).

via
...And God brought us to Orlando. Which makes me think I should be a little more specific in my prayers because I certainly wouldn't have picked Florida. But God's funny like that. I think I will miss this place when we leave, if not just for our precious neighbors and their cute teenage daughter. And there are worse places in the world... I live pretty close to the ocean (again) and right next to a lake, so that's awesome since I love water.

Have you been to Orlando? To anyplace other than the touristy areas? What did you think?



And now for the fun...

The "Os" that almost were
Opiates... Don't ask me how I got here. I just go with the flow, guys, and it ends up on my blog. Just be glad I have a filter that works at least part of the time.
Officious People... I would just like to let you know that these BOTH were almost full posts before I decided I couldn't say the things I wanted to say in a public forum :) You're welcome, for that. Filter. 

Favorite N posts:
N is for Naina by Naina at C'est la Vie! ... because we are the same person in many, many ways. Except that I love dogs! :) And also because I appreciate those who dedicate a letter to their name.
N is for NovaBug's Desert Island Games (Or, Top 10 video games ever) at The NovaBug Blog. ...because THANK YOU Super Mario World is one of the best games ever created!
N is for Nutria at Homeless Chronicles in Tampa ...because... sometimes things that gross me out also intrigue me :)) A ten pound rodent... sick lol
N is for Nieces by JoAnn at Daily Blessings ...because a picture is worth a thousand words. I loved looking back at all her pictures!



love, me


4.16.2013

N is for Never

As in, "never thought I'd see the day".

My parents left this morning and it is always so sad watching them drive away. It was not easy for the Sarge either, but he has some heavy stuff on his mind. We had a great visit, though, and all things come to an end eventually so... I really should work on sucking it up.

Now, as for Sergeant J. Remember how I told you that "happy life" doesn't mean I don't have bad days? This would be a prime example of one of those less than awesome days. The Sarge brought home his last will and testament last night. He hadn't been expecting to prepare it and I certainly wasn't expecting to have to review and store it the last night my parents were in town.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a crier. I can count the number of times I've cried in the past ten years on one hand. One finger even. But I almost shed a tear this morning during our goodbyes. It is a lot to handle... being alone when you're thinking about really being alone. Overwhelming. Needless to say, when I got my happily ever after with the Sarge... well, you know... I never gave much thought to the inevitable. Inevitable because he is in the military and we all knew he would deploy at some point, and this is procedure. Inevitable because it is just a good, grown up practice to have a living will and a last will and testament. But tough because you never want to imagine life without your best friend.

I don't call life short because it it the longest thing you do... I mean, what do you do longer than life? ... but it is precious. Sometimes I just need a reminder to cherish the people around me and treat them as gifts from God. It's easy to get caught up in the mundane, which is why I even spend any time being mad about ridiculous things the Sarge says or does. But if I remember... he is on loan to me from God! I better be careful with him and enjoy him while I have him, because I don't know the Lord's plan. But I know his plan is good and I'm thankful for the time I have, with the Sarge, with the folks, with my best pals... no matter how long that is.


Favorite M posts:
M is for Musical Inspiration by Lucy at Lucy's Reality
M is for Movies about Making Movies by Arlee Bird at Tossing it Up. Because I LOVE good movies and am always looking for new ones to watch!





love, me


4.15.2013

M is for Manifesto

You'll noticed I missed L. You will also be happy to note that I will be back on track tomorrow! The 'rents are departing and though I am sad, it will be nice to have my routine back. Except that my dryer is broken. Always something, right? 

I will get to the M in a moment (you can skip ahead if you'd like) but for good measure, my L post was going to be "London". 


via
I have never wanted to visit the UK really. As the child of a man raised in the south during the 50s and 60s, I've been all too aware of racial tensions and it is a scary thought to face such things so far from home. Now, I highly doubt that London, for example, has a race problem. They might. But I like to explore, often beyond the acceptable limit for tourists, and who knows where (or with whom) I might end up. I'll bet most of my friends and readers have NEVER thought about what it might be like to be a minority in a foreign land. Well, now you know what (some) of us black folks have to think about. (Some don't even give it two thoughts. My anxiety makes me weirder than most.) 


modalu.com
ANYWAY. That wasn't what the London post was about lol! Sorry. The London post was actually about me wanting to go to London. I do! I haven't particularly wanted to visit any part of Europe, save for Italy and Spain (see the above paragraph). BUT I have started developing an interest in the area. Mainly because of my new bag which was shipped to me from Farnborough. Which I am obsessed with. And is being delivered today!

Also, I realized I love watching documentaries about London's history and I actually kind of want to see the city. Or live there. Long enough to pick up the accent. Actually, that's what this is about.. the accent. Lord, help me. 


Now for the M! I have shared this song with you before, but some readers are new and need to be exposed to this simple but FANTASTIC song. It makes me want to go out and run like they do at the end of the video. Sing along!! (I did lol)



We believe in the One True God 
We believe in Father, Spirit, Son 
We believe that good has won 
And all of the people of God sang along

amen
amen yeah

We are free, He died and lives again
We will be a people free from sin 
We'll be free, a kingdom with no end 
And all of the people of God sang along 

amen
amen yeah
amen
amen yeah

Our father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On Earth as it is in heaven 
Give us our daily bread 
And forgive us our trespasses 
As we forgive those 
Who have trespassed against us
And lead us not into temptation 
But deliver us from evil 
For thine is the kingdom, 
Power and the glory forever
We're singin'

amen
amen yeah
amen
amen yeah, yeah


love, me


4.12.2013

J is for Jerk and K is for Keto

My parents are visiting from out of state, so things have been more hectic. Funny, but it seems like you're never really prepared for how busy you'll be when you have company. We have had a good time, though. We went to Cocoa Beach yesterday and of course my mom and I have been shopping. I don't know my way around town very well yet.. but I think I make a pretty decent host :) 

BUT I have been a blogging jerk! Late and missing posts and that. Sorry. But I hope everyone knows that I miss checking out all the posts this week, too. I'll be back to normal next week but until then, bear with me!

So, I won't spend too much time calling myself a Jerk and move on to K.

Once the Sarge is gone, I am thinking of shifting to a Keto diet. I'm already going to be eating completely clean but I'm thinking about greatly limiting carbohydrates. Have any of you shifted to a unique diet (not... "diet", but way of eating)? I am doing it partially because of weight issues, but mostly because I think I have a severe sugar addiction. I think I can break it while in ketosis.

You can learn more about the Keto diet, and entering and staying in Ketosis here

And here are some of my most recent Keto pins. 








love, me


4.10.2013

I is for I

Sergeant J's "I" word for the day: inclusive. So, there's that. 

But for me... I thought for a while about what to write. And I settled on the "I". Seriously, how many times a day do we say "I"? A lot. I say "I" a lot. I mean.. you live with yourself more than anyone else, why wouldn't you think from the perspective of "I"? But has our love for "I" gotten out of hand? 

Obviously one should love himself, so please don't misunderstand me. But, with all the social media out there (I like to call it personal PR), we have embraced the "I". This has two major outcomes. The first is a narcissistic society, which we have mastered in my opinion. We are obsessed with ourselves. I mean, even me.. I'm writing this blog as if I have any authority to write about anything lol! Between having a blogging presence (which is affirmed by followers or commenters, no less), tweeting as if someone cares about our opinions, instagramming as if we are artists, linking in to tout our accomplishments publically, pinning and getting pinned to show our domesticity (or planned domesticity) and facebooking to compare it all (or show we are DOING it all), we have really made narcissism an art form. Me, too. I'm not pointing fingers.. just observing. 

But the second outcome is the one that hurts my heart. The things that we post are not us. They are just snapshots from our lives, clever one liners that we mayor may not have come up with. They're they high points, or the low points in the way we choose to present them. And this causes some onlookers to doubt themselves: their talents, their abilities, their successes as wives, moms, professionals, or just as people.

Social media is not bad. But let's be mindful of how we use it. As posters, this means authenticity, balance and sensitivity in what we say. We don't have to be without opinions, I just think that some people forget that anyone with access to a computer and basic reading skills can (and will) read what you've written. Don't back down, just remember that we have to live in this world (outside of the computer) together. 

As onlookers, we must remember that we are looking at what someone CHOSE to share. I posted a picture of our newly remodeled bathroom and I'm pretty proud of it. But remember that is a picture from before it was used! The towels won't always be yellow, the counter won't always be clear of clutter (it might not ever), and I didn't include pictures of the gray paint we accidentally got on the ceiling. The words and pictures you see are not of actual lives, just excerpts of lives. And if you begin to feel unsatisfied with your life, take a mini hiatus from social media. Remember that your life is good! Be thankful.. we are so blessed in ways I can't even count. I promise. If you keep things in perspective you will be much happier!

Here are two relatively recent posts on this topic that I LOVED. Read them if you have a chance.


        



The "I"s that almost were:
Introspection. I do it a lot. It's good for your (mental) health. 
Imago Dei (Image of God) -- and I just realized that I thought of the Latin before I thought of the English, even though both are "I" phrases. That's a win for my Theology professor!
Inception. Which really would have just been about Leo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon Levitt. Sigh. 
Infertility. I just didn't want to go there this morning.

Favorite H Posts (I told you it would be back!)
H is for Hair by Lucy at Lucy's Reality
H is for Hero to Herbivore by Chuck Allen
H is for The Horde by Julianne Snow at Days with the Undead. Because I LOVE ZOMBIES! I mean. That didn't come out right. Zombies... interest me. Entertain? Well whatever you get where I'm goin'.
H is for Hell (not what you're thinkin'!) by Darlene at Life at Full Throttle -- what a great blog about overcoming addiction. I'm so glad I stumbled across this one.


love, me


4.09.2013

Bathroom Makeover Reveal

If you are looking for the A to Z Challenge post, click here!

You remember a while back I posted about my bathroom that looked like this: 



Which... isn't the worst looking thing in the world. But it could definitely use a little pep. So, we pepped it up!




We used Valspar Kitchen & Bath Paint and Primer in one in Vessel Gray. It was way easier than I thought and I am super pleased with the result. It's supposed to be formulated to withstand more cleaning and humidity than a typical paint.

And here it is!!








I want to get towels that are closer to the citron color of the shower curtain. I wanted a less sunny, more organic and earthy yellow (The colors are a little dull on that last photo. I took these with my iPad and my cell phone.. the duller colors are complements of 'le cell phone'). The shower curtain is from west elm and it is the actual reason this whole bathroom happened. 

But I'm happy in spite of the hue differences!





I also used contact paper to spruce up the ugly cabinet that came with the house. It doesn't look that bad in this picture, but trust me... it's ugly lol! I'll be getting a few of these striped hand towels in the next couple of days... 



so it's looks more at home than the tan one in this picture LOL!



And of course, the obligatory Scentsy plugin there in the corner. 
This one is "Bumble Bee" and I really like it. It's cheery.

In case you're wondering, I'm warming Honey, Do!





Here is the scripture printable I used.


 
I made it in the middle of the night as the Spirit brought this verse to mind! I'm sure it's in any number of bathrooms or laundry rooms! You can download it for free. I made it using Microsoft Publisher. (I know, I'm such a graphic designer!)


YAY for makeovers! What do you think? It's no "Pin" but I like it so much! I'll be back tomorrow, resuming my A to Z blog challenge :)


love, me


H is for Happy Life.

Since today is for the letter H, it seems appropriate to talk about why I chose this blog name. Well, way back when I started blogging, I couldn't find another happy life blog so that helped. Imagine my surprise when I tried to secure "thehappylifeblog" dot com and it was taken! By someone who started blogging just after I did! Well. Whatever! (I'm sure she's very sweet LOL). Now I search google and there's a whole list of happy life blogs but I'm the original (maybe not but let's go with it).

Anyway. This blog has been around for a little over four years with this name (previously I called it something like shades of blue.. it was on livejournal and xanga before that... yes... I'm old).

Do not be deceived. I did not call this "the happy life blog" because I'm always happy. I don't want to come across that way at all. Sometimes I have bad days when I'm angry for no reason, or I'm cynical or hateful, and I will write about those days (with wreckless abandon).

But the fact is, my perspective is what keeps me joyful.
via

As it is written,
     "weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning";

and elsewhere,
     "the faithful steadfastness of the Lord never ceases, 
          his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; 
     great is your faithfulness";

and again,
     "by day the Lord commands his steadfast love, 
          and at night his song is with me";

and,
     "I know my redeemer lives 
          and at the last he will stand upon the earth".


How I could go on and on! Why should my soul be downcast? Whom shall I fear? The victory has already been won. Yes, we have to face the troubles of life...

(That would be when a car breaking down when you have $50 in your account and you still have a week left to feed yourselves before the next paycheck; when you find out your dog is having puppies and her emergency c-section cleaned out your savings and you have to buy food her for twice a week; making a mistake that affects your career; losing a friend because you are too ridiculous to think about things in her shoes -- or through God's eyes; having a bad attitude in Los Angeles traffic and streaming obscenities for two hours... while you're headed to your seminary class; struggling with trust and abandonment issues... I THINK YOU GET THE POINT!!)

In this life you will have trouble. But take heart. Jesus has overcome the world!


Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.
        Isaiah 40:28-31

.
Perspective. Get some.
and live a hapy life :)


love, me


UPDATE: As an aside. I do not believe "God doesn't give us more than we can handle". That is false. We rejoice in our weakness, because God's power is made perfect in weakness. When we can't do it and it gets done, God gets the glory. Hence, "peace that surpasses understanding". Just had to put that out there. :)

4.08.2013

G is for Graceful Recovery

Well, F must be for "Failing to write a post for the letter F" so I'm going to make a smooth move and continue on like nothing ever happened. 

Like what ever happened? Yes, I'm that good. 

So, my G is actually for "Good books" because I, like most of the people participating this year, love a good read. (Not to be confused with GoodReads the website. Which.. I might boycott.) 

Anyway, I joined a book club when we moved to Florida because I wanted to be able to meet people and have a reason to leave the house other than grocery shopping. (And not at all because I'm desperate to make quick friends because I am running low on time with the Sarge. Not at all.) Anyone who has known me since college will know that I don't read much fiction. I love reading, but I am usually so weighed down with theology reading and leading small groups and trying to figure out what a good "quiet time" looks like that my library does not see many genres. I am happy reading apologetic literature, don't worry. In fact, I will often select the next Beth Moore or John Piper or Rob Bell (just kidding) before even thinking about what kind of fiction to read. 

Now, I have read some fiction books due to popularity (ahem, Twilight), but I almost never read fiction otherwise. I think that is a great reason to join a book club!

I have never read a book I didn't like. That doesn't mean that I don't think there are bad books... The bad ones just get put down forever. Otherwise, I enjoy everything I read. They aren't all literary genius (ahem... Twilight) but it's easy to draw me into a story. I get attached to characters and ride their ups and downs with a sympathetic heart. The last book we read was Beautiful Creatures, and, even though it's a total Twilight-esque story, I found myself wanting Ethan and the girl to make it. But these are just fun reads -- they take a day or two to get through and then I want to see the movie. 

But some books are fantastic. I have read a few of those, The Time Traveler's Wife and Redeeming Love being just two examples. These are books that I reflect on for years to come, still enamored with their stories. The ones I read and reread with the same vigor. The ones that still surprise me and engage me. They may not be Pulitzer Prize books to anyone else, but they are personal prizes.

The book we read for this month was The Kitchen House and I LOVED it. 


via bn.com
I think it will make that list of books that spoke to me in a way that can't be described to someone who doesn't love the pages of a book like I do, that can't be understood unless you've cried for a character. (Yes. Cried. Don't judge.) I probably would not have picked it up myself, but I am so glad I read it. It's the story of an orphaned Irish girl who becomes a servant on a tobacco plantation in the late 1700s. Is it a Pulitzer Prize winner? I'm not sure. Is it historically accurate? I don't know. But I do know something about slavery and I thought the author handled the telling of the story well. I get bent out of shape when non-blacks write about slavery and racism (ahem, The Help), and I suppose that's a deeply ingrained and owned sadness over the plight of the black man in the United States. But that's another post. Kathleen Grissom wrote well and I'm pleased to have this book in my library.

What are some of your favorite books? I'm always looking for something new to help me get away!


I'll see you tomorrow, and my G favorites will be back :)





love, me


4.05.2013

E is for eAward. Is that cheating?

E is for E-Award. I thought about doing another "E" as well, but this little Liebster award is no joke! I almost forgot to post today. I just can't get with the auto posting. I should work on that.

Anywho, here it goes.

I was tagged for this award by two gals, Jodi from the 100 Smile Challenge Blog and Jaime from Mommy on a Mission.


The Rules:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2.  Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3.  Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4.  Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
5.  No tag back (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you)!




11 Random Facts About Me:
  1. I'm right handed, but I tried to train myself to be be ambidextrous for at least 6 years. I'm not.
  2. I wear sweats and t-shirts 95% of the time but I REALLY want to be girly and trendy (and have somewhere to go in my bright skinny jeans!)
  3. My favorite book of all time was probably The Time Traveler's Wife.
  4. I want to be a country singer! LOL! It's true!!
  5. The easiest way to convince me to do something is to offer to feed me first. Not ashamed.
  6. I have a serious, likely incurable case of trypophobia. DO NOT GOOGLE IT. Don't say I didn't warn you. Goodness. I can't sit still now. 
  7. I make just about every consumable thing in our kitchen from scratch. And laundry detergent (See day D and thank your lucky stars)
  8. I have an unhealthy relationship with cheese.
  9. I have natural long and extremely strong nails and people are always asking if they're fake. I bit my nails until I was about 15 so I'm proud of them, even today. And I don't drink milk.
  10. I though all direct sales/party plans were scams until about two years ago. I know.
  11. My goal in life is to challenge women, especially military wives, to a legitimate relationship with Christ and a healthy image of self. 

11 Questions Answered (I have 22. Sorry!):

From Jodi: 

  1. What or who put a smile on your face today? Everything. Seriously today was awesome. Maybe talking to my dear friend Nicole. It's been FOREVER since we chatted and I have missed her. Or taking a walk with my neighbor and having good conversation. Today has been a good day.
  2. What or who inspires you to blog? I like to write, and I also like to be able to look back at what I was thinking or doing several years ago. I have a lot of journals from when I was young but everything's digital these days... right?
  3. What is your greatest goal right now? I really want to get a Perfectly Posh promotion (longer term) by adding to my team (shorter term). The baby steps are: get out of the house more, talk to more people, and be sure to connect with them (as in, the fortune is in the follow up!)
  4. What is your favorite way to spend ME time? I like to read. The Bible or other non fiction. I have recently joined a book club so I'm reading more fiction these days.. it's.. different.
  5. If you could change one thing about the world what would it be? I would want people to understand the love of Jesus!
  6. What is your best feature? I don't know that it's the best feature... but I am pretty honest lol. If you think I don't like you, I probably don't. I never did "fake" well and let's be honest... sometimes if makes my life hard LOL!
  7. What are you grateful for today? A sweet, funny, loving, supportive husband!
  8. What is your favorite candy? See's nuts and chews. Yummmmm!
  9. Which is your favorite holiday and why? Easter! This is just the celebration of the greatest event in the history of the world. Plus I love Spring.
  10. Dogs or cats? Dogs. I love cats and I used to hate dogs, but then there was Gracie. Also, I'm allergic to cats, it turns out.
  11. Which one word describes your mood right now? Creeped out. I just googled trypophobia to make sure I was spelling it right.. WHY do I do that to myself! UGH!

From Jaime:
  1. Baked or fried? Um batter it up and fry it. This is why I'm fat LOL!
  2. Iced or hot coffee? Tea, technically, but iced if I have to pick. Starbucks Frappucino I love you!
  3. What was your first car? A 92 Honda Accord. Hard to believe that model is more than 20 years old now. It was the best car in the WORLD.
  4. If you could go back to high school, would you ? Why? Heck no! Life is way more awesome when you make the rules. Also I was awkward and socially inept in high school and I wouldn't want that back for a minute. In fact, I still struggle... The Sarge used to volunteer with teens and going to the teen "area" of church gave me anxiety. Teens are mean lol.
  5. Do you like to wear hats? What kind? No, the fro makes that tough. But I do like hats. I just look really, really dumb in them!
  6. Night owl or early bird? Both... I know. Weird. People do not appreciate an "all day person" like I call myself!
  7. What is your favorite part of your body? My eyes! Or the aforementioned fingernails haha
  8. What is your strangest quirk? I don't know! Maybe it's the fear that I'll end up on one of those shows where I knew "the nicest guy in the neighborhood" and he's really a pyscho serial killer. And I had him over for dinner. Paranoia? Whatever. 
  9. What scares you the most? Spiders!
  10. What’s your favorite holiday? Why? Oops, answered that one!
  11. How did you meet your best friend? Church. We both went to the same church in Mountain View, CA back in 2004 or 5. I think we met at an evening event, like an Open Mic night or something along those lines. 

My Nominations for the Liebster Award are:
Sorry I don't have 11! 
1. Elise at Feel the Rain
2. Jessica at My Bag of Sunshine
3. Alicia at New House Girl
4. Jess at All American Jess -- who's blog I've been reading for about a year and we now live in the same general area!
5. Rachel at Romancing Rachel
6. Kati at Along for the Ryde -- although.. I don't know how many followers you have, friend!
7. Jes at BleuDress.com
8. Kathryn at Married Filing Joint
9. Dani at Short, Small and in Love
10. Leslyn at Leslyn's Lovely Life
11. The Coffee Lady at My Morning Cup of Coffee
My 11 Questions for my Liebster Nominees:

  1. Tell us about your favorite memory.
  2. What's your favorite show on television right now? If you don't watch TV, what's is your favorite TV show of all time? 
  3. How many siblings do you have, and do you get along?
  4. Where do you want to be/What do you want to be doing in five years?
  5. What movie are you looking forward to seeing? 
  6. How do you unwind after a tough day? 
  7. Do you prefer Apple or Mac products? Do you care?
  8. What was the last book you read? Did you like it? 
  9. What's your least favorite chore? Your most favorite? 
  10. Do you have any irrational fears? 
  11. Do you like to take baths, or do you prefer showers?


WHEW. If you read all that, dare I say you are a better blogger than I am? Just kidding. Sort of. I'll be back tomorrow with my usual fun. Until Monday friends, have a great and happy weekend! 


Other things that I almost wrote about today:

Earth Day, because, why not?
Evernote: one of my many virtual disappointments
Erica (my cousin)
Eventually... Yes, I almost wrote about the word "eventually" because I use it SO much. This is another one you can be glad you missed!


Favorite D posts
I try to hop around to about 20 blogs from the mega list if I have the time. 
Here are some of my favorites from yesterday.
D is for Disappeared Without Explanation at Retro Zombie. That would be, "TV characters" who disappeared.
D is for Drive Ins at My Loves, My Life. Nostalgia is ALWAYS fun.
D is for "Dare to keep your head on straight" at Another Clean Slate. LOVE all four of her days so far! Yay!
D is for Daddy's Girl at TIME OUT is Not Just for Kids ... because I am a total daddy's girl!


love, me