Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Target Finds...

The only good thing about running out of dog food at 8:30pm is that you get to run across the block to Target in your sweatpants and stroll through every aisle of goodness without shame. That's what I did Thursday night. I promise, all I bought was dog food. But I found a few goodies I'd love to share with you, so that either you can  purchase them for yourself, or in case you were trying to figure out what I'd want for Christmas or my birthday or a some day house-warming gift but were afraid of asking because you didn't want to make it so obvious. That's so sweet of you, friend. Let me offer a few suggestions :)

Sweet vintage looking pretty in a hutch or entry way table!

Organizing basket with flare..they weren't really 19.99, I think they were 16.99 if I remember right...

Green vases...again, pretty in a hutch or entry way table...
oooh, or a bathroom. The possibilities are endless!

Owl bookends. Break my heart. Just 24.99.

No. 4 Pillow...Love the writing and the color.
 I just hate how pricey pillows are. 24.99??
Ah, but this one could be worth it!!

I actually already have this clock and I LOVE it. But this one has a broken
 second-hand so it's on sale. Easy fix and cool clock for just 17.99!

Last but not least, this Tic Tac Toe tray. As cool as what it is,
don't buy it, this one has got to be easy to make!!
Is anyone else as in love with the new lines at Target as I am!? So many neat quirky things, I can't get enough!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

All the Single Ladies

I've been on this crazy organizing kick ever since we put our house up for sale. On my days off, I try to go through a pile or two of paperwork, then try to get rid of at least one or two things tucked away in a closet that aren't worth moving. Throughout this process of tidying up, I came across some notes about singleness I collected over the years. As I read through them, my heart just smiled and my mind ventured back to all those nights of loneliness and uncertainty. These are the words I clung to that got me through, and I want to share them with you. I feel like women who are newly married only blog about marriage, or women who have 3 kids only blog about their 3 kids. Disclaimer: when we have kids, I'll probably only blog about them too, because I'll be obsessed. Anyway, my goal for this blog is for it to be a place to log the present, but also to remember where we've come from and to praise God for being faithful throughout the journey. So here's a few a ridiculous amount of quotes and Bible verses, from a variety of sources (books listed below), that helped me get where I am today. I added a few of my own thoughts to a few of them, in italics...

  • There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled. One of the greatest strains in life is waiting for God. (God doesn't always fulfill our hearts the way we want, but He ALWAYS fulfills them)
  • A relationship is not meant to make us a whole person; only Jesus can make us a whole person.
  • God has a purpose for the solo season in your life. He uses loneliness to teach complete dependence on Him.
  • God tells us to trust His perfect timing so that we may discover that all the pain found in waiting has a magnificent awesome purpose.
  • Allow God to hold onto your heart; He's not going to turn it over to just anyone.
  • God knows who you will marry and He's capable of leading you to that man someday. (I had to memorize this one...I love the word "capable" here, it sounds so sarcastic, considering He's far more than "capable.")
  • God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
  • God knows you better than you know yourself...allow Him to pick your spouse.
  • Man and woman were never designed to be each other's source of fulfillment. They were designed to be companions and working partners.
  • Your spouse is probably waiting on the other side of your will meet him when you get on with your life. (Sitting around and pouting about not being with somebody, or, even worse, obsessing over placing yourself somewhere to be with somebody...just be you and do what you love...again, God is capable of leading the right one to you.)
  • It was God that decided Adam needed a mate. And while Adam rest, God went about creating a helper for him, one He knew Adam would like...Adam woke up when God was finished with Eve.
  • God's prescription for rest is His gracious call to stop striving, pushing, straining, overexerting yourself in an area of your life that He never called you to take into your own hands.
  • Nothing won easily is appreciated for very long. When we have to pay a dear price for something or someone, we treasure it always.
  • You don't need to strategically place yourself anywhere. You don't have to "help" a guy out because he's "shy." (That being said, I think it's important to put yourself out there. Get involved at work or in your church or play on a softball league...somewhere where you can meet more people and expand your circle. Meet people and allow others to get to know you. Disclaimer: don't change churches or join a particular softball league just to be closer to a particular guy who knows you but hasn't shown interest in you...that's called stalking and there are restraining orders for that...)
  • If he doesn't feel an urgency to know and pursue you, he's not the one for you. Men do whatever they have to do to get what they truly want. (Couldn't agree with this more! I can say with confidence that I only ever dated awesome Christian men, but one of the differences between them and my super cool husband was their level of pursuit. The guys before Brett made it clear that they liked me, but most of them didn't go the extra mile. If they said they'd call but then something came up, they'd just talk to me another time. If they asked me out on a date, most of the time they'd say "Meet me there," or, if they came to pick me up, they'd show up and be all like"So...(pause)...uh, what do you...uhh, want to do?" as they stare at their feet and avoid eye contact. But Brett, he always called when he said he would, and his call usually followed a text saying, "Is this a good time for me to call?" He respected my time. When Brett took me on a date, he picked me up, opened my door, and had the evening planned. He would drive an hour, place flowers and a sweet card in my house when he knew I wouldn't be home, then drive an hour home, without ever even seeing me. The boy PURSUED me.)
  • Every man needs to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he misses you. (I'm not saying stop returning his calls for a few days, and see what happens. I'm just saying live your life and let him miss you. After Brett and I met, I had a retreat to lead worship for. I know girls who would have tried to get out of the retreat just to spend time with their significant other, but I went, and I was all in. I focused on the retreat and the people around me, I wasn't texting Brett the entire time I was there and missing out on what was going on around me. And that weekend was so good for us...we knew we hated being away from each other.)
  • If God has spoken to the man in your life and told him that you are the one for him, and he chooses to run away, open the door and let him go. He will be back.
  • God is not interested in blessing anything that divides your heart against Him.
  • Women fall in love and get married. Men decide they want to get married then look for a wife.
  • Jesus Christ is the One who makes us ready for true, lasting, human love. And He is the One that meets our deepest needs when human love falls short.
  • "Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that's what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions." 2 Corinthians 5:9MSG
  • Just like God, a woman is not a problem to be solved but a vast wonder to be enjoyed. (A personal favorite of mine)
  • Being single and lonely is tough...being married and lonely is tougher. Wait for the right one. (Can I get an AMEN?!)
  • Become the kind of person you want to attract.
Also, here's a list of great books I recommend reading during your singlehood:
  • Authentic Beauty- Leslie Ludy
  • Captivating- John and Stasi Eldredge
  • For Women Only- Shaunti Feldhahn
  • When God Writes your Love Story- Eric and Leslie Ludy
  • Love and Respect- Emerson Eggerichs
  • Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts -Les and Leslie Parrott
I hope this post has encouraged you in some way or another. Remember that everyone in your life that is married now has been single at some point in their life. It's so good to talk to them and ask them questions and learn from their mistakes and take note of what they did right. This season in your life is likely to be short, so soak it in and don't hate me for suggesting you enjoy it as much as you can! It's a sweet season and one day you'll look back and thank God for walking through that precious time of life with you because it will have prepared you so much for God's awesome gift of marriage!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Birthday Boy and Girl

Brett and I have birthdays that are just a few weeks apart, and somewhere in between them lies our anniversary. So the last couple of weeks have been hectic. However, we're back in the swing of things so I finally have time to update our blog. I want to keep this updated in case anyone out there actually reads this and cares about our lives, but mostly for myself. It's fun to look back and see how far we've come! Anyway, back to birthdays...

I turned 25. EEK! Every birthday since 21 has just gotten more and more tough. I know it's not like I'm old or anything, but I cry two to three times on the actual day, and the next morning I wake up completely relieved that it's over. Is that insane? Am I alone on this one? Regardless, that's just how I feel. We were actually on our way home from our cabin in Brown County that day. So the actual "day" wasn't super, but the week prior was amazing. When Brett and I arrived home, he surprised me with a Jeff Saturday Green Bay jersey. For those who don't know (is there ANYONE who doesn't, by the way? ha!) I'm a huge fan of #63, so I'll cheer for him regardless of who he plays for. But, rest assured Indiana, my loyalty belongs with the Colts. Anyway, it was a fun surprise and so thoughtful of Brett, buying a jersey for me with a man's name on it I adore. ;) Brett knows I'd pick him over Mr. Saturday anyday :)

We got home that afternoon and took a nap right away. Three hours later, we woke up, still exhausted, but forced ourselves to get up. Brett was a good sport. He kept saying, "It's your day babe, what do you want to do?" It was sweet, but I was tired. The last three nights we stayed up until after midnight (something I haven't done since college), and I guess at the ripe age of 25, a girl just can't handle inconsistent sleep. We decided to order take out, and bought a bottle of wine and stuff to make smores. We had the best intentions to get cozy outside around a bonfire, but we wound up watching the Olympics and falling back asleep around 8. Twenty five is exciting, I tell  ya. Speaking of exciting, I bought myself a gift this year. In the years past, I'd go on a shopping spree and buy new clothes, or a new camera (which I actually need right now), but this year was different. This year, I decided to surrender my youth invest in something I'll reap benefits from in the years to come. What was it, you ask?
Again I say, I'm getting more and more exciting with age...

Brett, on the other hand, handles birthday's MUCH better than his beautiful wife. It's like the day didn't even phase him. We actually celebrated his birthday a few days before the actual day because we knew his real birthday would be consumed with school and football (as is every other day every August through November). Anyway, I had an idea in mind of what to get him. I actually thought of it last summer but never got around to purchasing it for him. I told him about a week before his birthday that I got his gift. Big mistake. This guy is worse than a 5 year old around Christmas time. He said, "You know I'm just gonna look all around the house until I find it." Real mature there, buddy. Anyway, I told him I was keeping the gift safe at my parents house for now. The next couple days, all I heard from him was, "You got me a motorcycle didn't you? You did, I know you did!" First of all, he and I have had this discussion and he knows I'm not in favor of him purchasing a motorcycle. I promise I'm not a strict wife, I just have this thing with...ah, I won't even go there. 

So ya, motorcycle, motorcycle, motorcycle. I finally convinced him there was no way on earth I'd get him one. Even though he knew I was telling him the truth, I know part of him was hoping I was just saying that. The afternoon before I gave him his present, he calls me and says, "It's an iPad, isn't it?" THROW ME A BONE HERE, FOX! I just told him how disappointed he was going to be if he kept up with these ridiculously high expectations. He came home to this:
(Told you I need a new camera...)

Inside the gift (complete with 27 things I love about him) was eight bean bags. He figured it out. He asked where they were and I told him to look outside. Before he got to the door he said, "They better be sweet Notre Dame ones!" 

Whew, good call Kayla. All things considered, July and August treated us well. And if I have to grow old with anybody, I'm glad to do so with someone as awesome as that foxy Mr. Fox.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


(Image Courtesy of  Digital Photography School )
Perspective. It's something we all need to stop and think about now and then, especially in times of frustration or anticipation. It's all too easy to get caught up in the things in life we don't have and throw our own Woe is Me Pity Party that no one wants to attend. How great it is to have people in your life to whisper words heavy with wisdom into your life now and then.

We're trying to sell our house. It's a new adventure for me and that foxy Mr. of mine. We started this adventure off with the attitude of this: We have a great home we love and are thankful for. We see an opportunity for us to invest our money into something better suited for us in the future. We could take it, we could leave it. But we'll never know if it's even an option if we don't put our home on the market. So let's dive in and see what happens, and in the mean time enjoy what God's blessed us with.

Great attitude, right? I mean, that's like the PERFECT perspective for any seller to keep. It's a perspective that offers freedom. 

Funny how it doesn't take long to get caught up in the game of it all. I'm confident Satan is alive and at work and in the business of making us feel like we deserve everything and what we have is not enough. It's a message that is preached in shopping centers, on television, in car lots, even in relationships. But my God tells me something different. God makes it clear that we are sinners and that we cannot save ourselves. The only way to Him is through His son, Jesus, who lived and died on the cross for our sin and shame. Not because of anything we've done, but because of who He is. Not because of works, but through faith. The world owes me nothing; all I deserve is death. All that I am and all that I have is only because of God's compassion. And should he chose to take it all away, my resolve remains the same: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

My mom is my friend and my rock. She also happens to be my (favorite) realtor. She reminded me last week, "Whether or not your house sells, you still are one of the few in the world who has a roof over her head and food in her home to eat. You have the ability to work and a safe place to lay your head." Her whispering those fresh words over my life have encouraged me to respond to my dissatisfaction a little differently. Instead of feeling impatient, I'm going to choose gratefulness. Instead of wanting more, I'm going to find a way to give to those who need more. And instead of getting caught up in what lies ahead, I'm going to praise God for the here and now.

Meanwhile, someone should buy our house... ;)