Sunday, April 27, 2014

WEAR: neon & maxi

So... I cannot for the life of me remember where I wore this outfit to! It's driving me crazy! But, I must tell you, I do love it! Honestly, for weeks I've been trying to come up with a way to wear this skirt my mama gave me (because I love it), but without looking pregnant. And then I came across this picture! I hadn't even remembered wearing it! 

Anyways, I love the contrast of classy black & white with the neon pink! 

Happy Blogging!

all-star husband!

A few weeks back, Adam participated in an Annual Alumni Tournament that he does every year! I always have a blast going & watching him play -- not only does he present himself with high character & sportsmanship, he is absolutely a fantastic athlete! :)

Adam, me, Adam's mama, brother & brother's fiancĂ© 

Sidenote sort of piggy-backing on my above statement of his character, there were many men who were reliving old high school rivalries, which is okay I suppose, was to the point where they were literally getting in fights! We walked in to one game & heard the (grown) men calling each other names & making fun of each other's knee braces! AHHHHH HAHA! Seriously? All I could think was how embarrassing that must be for their wives AND how their children are sitting there watching them. These are their role models, their daddys to whom they are looking up to & learning from. I made sure to tell my husband how proud I was of him AND thankful that I would not need to worry about that! :)

Happy Sunday, 

date night: golfing!

When I was growing up, one thing I remember my mom & dad always talking about was date nights being important AFTER marriage. Especially after kiddos come into the picture. They said that this advice had actually come from our family doctor -- he always encouraged them do this & they did & do! This is something that Adam & I have purposed to do. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, but just some time to go out together & do something.

For us, it started as cooking something together every Friday & picking out a new movie from our collection. More recently, it's been picking a new place to eat or just doing something different. This past Saturday evening, we went & hit some golf balls in this dome in the area we live. Adam has had a coupon to do this for FREE for quite some time now, so we finally decided to take advantage of it...and I must say, we had a BLAST! Even me who only stayed on the golf team in High School for 1 practice (HA!). We had fun just being there together, placing silly bets & goofing around!

So, if you don't do this, I encourage you to start this habit! And if once a week isn't attainable, maybe once a month -- just some time frame you guys can cut out of your busy schedules to focus on each other! Even if it's just going to Hardee's for a delicious burger (yes, we do this often -YUM)!

Kind of a funny side story, the first day of work at my job, we get taken out to eat. It must have been a Friday because I said something about 'having a hot date tonight'. My boss said, "Wait, what? I thought you said you were married?" I joyfully exclaimed that I was & that we still have date night! Awkward silence, but I later learned that they thought our tradition was pretty cool! And, we've gotten so much more encouragement from friends & family on this! Funny how there's a stereotype of people not dating after marriage -- BREAK IT, PEOPLE! Keep dating each other & falling in love over & over & over again! :) 


Perspectives on the World Christian Movement.

We don't get each other Christmas gifts. What we do is get a 'couple's gift'. Like, the first year, we bought a Wii & a couple games...and then we bought a gun...and this year, we bought this class & are taking it together. 

Lucky for us, our church is putting it on this year, so we got a pretty killer discount, which is always nice! :) But seriously you guys, this course is intense. It's pretty much a college course (yes, you can actually get college credit). It's a 14-week course (with homework, personal responses, 3 hour weekly seminars & a ending project) exploring God's heart for the Nations (in a super tiny nutshell).

We're nearing the end of it -- like 2 Tuesdays left! Our favorite part has been listening to all the missions workers & their stories (and the food)! The most challenging part has been enduring all of the reading (like I said, college book with homework -- no joke)! This is a large commitment! But, all in all, it has been pretty beneficial & opened our eyes to future possibilities where God may use us!
Like I was telling you in this post of becoming debt free, who knows where the future will bring us. But, one definitely cool thing we've chatted about is the prospect of missions work. Previously when we'd discussed it, we talked about how poor we would feel leaving a church to have the responsibility of our student loans (some churches help to cover that stuff when you leave). Something just didn't feel comfortable with that. BUT, since the Lord has been providing us with financial freedom, no mortgage, etc, the possibilities are endless. 

We were joking with our pastor & friends the other day about how Adam keeps me level. I'm all like high in the clouds and, "Let's move to Africa tomorrow & share God's love!" He brings me back to logical reality! :) "Maybe there's a better way to ease in, Jace..." or something like that. I'm glad God blessed me with a level-headed chap like him... It's just...I get excited! :) I'm super-de-duper excited to see where the future years will take us!

If you can scrounge up the money & are willing to take a time commitment for 14 weeks, I'd encourage you to try this course. You'll journey through Old Testament & New Testament & get to learn about God's purpose for every believer's life & learn how to share it with others! :)

Sidenote, before making the time & money commitment, they'll let you take 2 classes for FREE! Just to get a feel -- so, if you're interested, look up one in your area & give it a try! This a national class!


our tentative plan...home, babies, debt, etc.

I just wanted to share a bit with you guys our life as of lately. The following is what 'our plan' is... I say 'our plan' because that's what it is -- and sometimes God has a different plan that completely turns 'our plan' upside down. Let me be clear, we're pretty much open to that happening, too! :) 

This past summer/fall, we were house hunting pretty hot & heavy. We found so many prospects. We were looking back around my hometown & family. My dad & brother were faithful to help us since we don't know too much about foundations & fixing things...they tagged along to make sure that we wouldn't be getting in over our heads! 

Well, we found a home that we absolutely loved & had just about everything that we wanted. We've kind of been thinking that we were going to get a fixer-upper & turn it into EXACTLY what we wanted. A fun project, if you will. Well, this one had been foreclosed on & someone had already turn keyed it. It was beautiful, you guys. Completely remodeled, brand new kitsch, 4BR, 2BR, finished basement with more potential for expansion, fenced in backyard, huge deck. The works. IN OUR PRICE RANGE. Perfect. Well, our realtor had called us & said that someone was going to put an offer in on it & the other realtor called to tell her this because she wanted us to have it first, if we wanted. So, we went to look through a second time. This was moving fast -- so exciting & scary all at the same time! So, after we'd all looked through it, Adam & I told them we were going to chat & get back to them ASAP. Everyone left & there we sat in our potentially future home's driveway. We had to make a decision that night -- right then & there. 

We went back & forth with the pros & cons, should we, shouldn't we, etc. You see, we're planning on me being a stay-at-home mommy. So, even though I'll most-likely have an additional source of income, we are buying a home on just Adam's income. (side note, I came home one day & Adam had already made a spreadsheet with our budget now with both incomes, our apt, etc...and a future one with one budget & a home, etc... it was so cute & smart & I loved it). Anyways, Adam said he thought it may be the smarter move to get our student loans out of the way -- to set ourselves up a little better for the future. Be completely debt-free before making that big purchase. And I have to tell you, I completely agreed. Not to mention, it is definitely God-honoring to be debt-free! So, that was our decision. And we both felt so at peace with our decision. Once we get done paying off our student loans (our only debt), that will be an extra $600/month extra! Which will definitely help on one income! Sure, it'd be nice to have a home, but not knowing exactly where to go anyhow, we're pleased with our decision & the current place the Lord has us! We're knocking down the remaining of husband's student loans & are planning to be COMPLETELY debt free before 2014 is up! 

On the subject of babies, our current plan is to have a little home first, BUT...who knows what God has in store for us... Guess we'll just wait  & see. :)

Easter 2014 @ Dadsies & Momsies


God provides in funny ways...

Hi there, pals!

It's so amazing to me how God provides. He tells us that He'll provide & it's super-de-duper fun to see it put into action...and the creative ways He does it! 

I think I've told you before, but...when Adam & I very first got married, we did not tithe. I mean, I would here & there in college, but not faithfully. And when we got married, honestly, we were just being selfish & untrusting. Our excuses consisted much of, "That's sooo much money each month!" or, "Things will be so tight if we actually do that. How can we afford that?" Silly things like that. Seriously, it just makes me want to laugh now at how naive we were. 

Pastor had a sermon on how our money is not actually our money. It's God's money -- we just get to manage it while we're here. And in a very condensed version of this, it's sort of like stealing from Him. He gives you so much & asks for just a bit of that back. Huh, who woulda thought. That's a really good way to put it. We would have nothing...I mean nothing without God giving it to us. After that, we knew things had to change & immediately started tithing, have NEVER looked back & have been faithfully, cheerful givers ever since!

New American Standard Bible 
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 
-2 Corinthians 9:7 know what, guys? What happened next was insane & sort of confusing to be honest. Our bank account just kept growing & growing. It was nuts. We had tried saving before & it just seemed to keep slipping from our grasps. But once we trusted in Him & willingly obeyed, we were financially blessed more than we could have thought. It just doesn't make sense on paper. 

We recently have just been able to pay off a very LARGE student loan of mine -- all in one foul swoop. Just got rid of it like that. And you know what? It's because God has been faithful to us. We got rid of that loan, but didn't want to deplete all of our finances (I've had my car since I was 16 & let's just say it's...a little rough, so we wanted to keep enough in there to get a new car, if need be, at least). Still, we have less in our account than we're used to, so we decided to keep building it up so we could do the same thing with Adam's loan -- delete it in one foul swoop! Well, we needed to get a CT scan for hunky husband which was going to cost us around $800...okay, no biggy. Stinks, but we can handle that! Things like that happens. And you know what, guys... God provided. He provided almost $1,100 through a garage sale that I had in my little hometown of only like 800 people. Isn't that nuts? Garage sales like that aren't too common. I'm humbled. 

See what I mean? Isn't it so cool to see God's blessings in action? That garage sale is going to pay for husband's CT & then some! We have to get some eye exams, new glasses, much needed dental appointments, etc & it will help to cover those, too!

Anyways, I so just wanted to share this because I've been so excited to share. And I would encourage you to trust his faithfulness. Even if you're heart is unsure. Make the leap -- you'll sure be glad you did!

Big hugs from over here!

happy belated Easter!

Good Friday started our Easter weekend off to an amazing start. We had a Good Friday service at our church where one of our pastor's played the role of  a Roman soldiers, Tiberius, and told us the story of our Christ. In year's past, they've done a live reenactment of 'Stations of the Cross' sort of a thing, but this year's different services was fun. 

It was super encouraging to see a HUGE turnout to all of the services throughout the weekend! I know that some people just go on Christmas, Easter, etc, BUT it was still encouraging to know that there may be hearts in that place that the Holy Spirit may be encouraging to come back & know Him closer through that place.

Easter was my favorite this year over any other year...I'm not quite sure why. I think each year that my love grows deeper for our Lord, the more I realize the magnitude of the amazing sacrifice He has made for me...and you. Plus, I love seeing it presented in new & different ways that shed new light on something important that I'd never thought about before.

If you've never heard about the love of Christ, feel free to email me or shoot me a comment below & I'd love to chat with you & share His love with you through myself!

My new pearlies that I wore to Good Friday services AND to Sunday service! There's something so timeless about pearls -- ESPECIALLY when paired with sequined bunny ears! :) HA!

So, here's a different thought...well, maybe more of a question...OR even more than that, just tell me your thoughts. Hunky husband & I have been chatting about this previously & recently. What do you think of incorporating The Easter Bunny, Easter Egg Hunts, Santa Claus & things like that within the Holidays? Does it distract from what you're actually celebrating? Is it just fun or can it be damaging...or both? Is there room for it when teaching your kiddos about the true meaning of the Christ-centered special times? 

We have thoughts from both sides & are still unsure of how all of this will be presented/handled when we have kids (lucky us, we have a while to decide), but would love to hear your thoughts & maybe someday soon, I'll compile what we think at this stage in our lives on this little bloggy! :) 

***sidenote, we decided my little bunny ears & bunny tail would be a-okay for this Easter because the group we were around knew that it was just fun...and they knew the EXACT reason we were actually was just fun for the Easter Egg Hunt!***


kindness from neighbors & PB&J cookies.

Every once in a while, I finally decide it's time to try a new recipe. I mean, sure... I pin a ton of recipes, but the actual 'doing' part is where I struggle. Well, I was at that point the other night while browsing through some blogs. I found a recipe for PB&J cookies on Lee La La. I made sure I had all of the correct ingredients & off I went. 

Why is it that even when I follow a recipe EXACTLY, I still fudge it up somehow. The bottoms were a bit burnt. We still tried them & they weren't too bad with a big glass of milk to wash down the very VERY peanut buttery part of the cookie. The important thing is that... I tried my darndest! :)

When we got home from my family's house for Easter, we were greeted with amazing smells coming from our neighbors! I had some Easter bunny ears on from my family's Annual Easter Egg Hunt, so my neighbor came out to greet us, laugh at my bunny ears, ya know...We told him their food smelled awesome & he asked if we liked fish...sure! A while later, he brought us this plate of AWESOME grilled food he'd made (mushrooms, potatoes, steak, fish, tomatoes -- I ate that asparagus like there was no tomorrow). Hunky husband wasn't too hungry, but it was so good he kept going back! It was too funny because I had just heated up leftover pizza, took a couple bites when he knocked on the door (so it became tomorrow's leftovers)!

Anyways, this gave us a great opportunity to share kindness back...and who knows, even if we weren't huge fans of the cookies, maybe someone else would be! So, we warned them to grab a big glass of milk & enjoy!

AND, incase you'd like to try them out yourself, here's the recipe! :)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
2 c strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 mins. Remove from oven, and indent centers with a spoon. Return to oven for 6 mins.
Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely.
Once cookies are cool, spoon 1/2 tsp jam into each indentation.

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