Friday, June 24, 2011

Our Home: Come In and Sit a Spell!

If I can't find anything to watch on television, HGTV is my default channel.
I love House Hunters (especially the International episodes). My favorites are the ones where the house hunter couple has a little pep, and the homes are all so interesting it's too close to call. It's fun little show.
So given my interest at peaking into the places people call home, I thought I'd invite you into ours. It's just a little 2 b/2b condo, but we love it. Come on in and see!
This is the entrance hallway (that's the front door with the M on it).
That hallway leads to our main space. The living/dining/library/office/play room. This room knows how to multi-task, yes siree.

The living space leads around to the kitchen.

Then if we backtrack down the hallway you can turn left down another little hall. On the right will be our guest bathroom.
Then, on the left you'll see Andrew and my bedroom.
....and the master bath off our bedroom.
SaraRose's room is at the end of the second little hallway. This has become my favorite room in the house. Several sweet elements came together to decorate it very easily. I painted her name on the wall before she was born, and her bed (which I also repainted) was made by my late grandfather and has now slept 3 generations of Lancaster girls. I didn't necessarily plan it, but it all fit together nicely.

As you head out of the house, we have a little fountian and bench outside the front door.

And that's it! Hope you enjoyed the tour. Ya'll come back now, ya hear?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

There is a monster in my room

Make that a green-eyed monster. He's been hovering around here all morning while I deal with some pretty strong jealousy issues.
I never before much thought of myself as a jealous person. I've shared before that fear is usually my biggest vice. But especially since my health problems started and I got major limitations put on my dreams, I feel jealousy slip in more and more. Always robbing my joy and leaving me angry...many times at people I love.

Why is it sometimes so much easier to weep with those who weep, than to rejoice with those who rejoice?

I have wonderful gifts in my life. I know this.
No one's life is perfect, even if it looks it. I know all of this and more.
I could preach a sermon on it.
It just isn't easy to live out.
Especially because for me there is almost always a real, worthy loss mingled in with my covetous feelings. Things that really matter and that are truly sad and that deserve to be mourned and validated.
But it's a sticky slope. Because my feelings of sadness easily become hostility towards someone else's happiness,
and that is more than just grief...that is sin.
I suppose this is just one more way Christ's strength will have to be perfect in my weakness, because I definitely don't have what it takes to fight it on my own.
I've given in to pity over and over.
But I don't want to stay that way.
I want to fight this and be free.
Free to love others. To desire the very best for their lives.
(you know that whole pesky "love does not envy" thing? Yeah.)
I want to live in confidence that I am blessed beyond belief.
Resting in the happiness that God knows all about my hopes and dreams.
And that He will honor them in His time. And in a way that is best for me.

This is some big time spiritual warfare stuff, people.

So I will fight the green-eyed monster today with my shield of faith, breastplate of righteousness, and sword of the Spirit.
That's all I know to do at this point.
Because my feelings are fickle, yet strong. So strong. Strong enough to ruin an entire lifetime if I let it.
But I don't want to let it.
And in God's strength, I won't.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pinterest. I may never sleep again.

Do you ever get the dull-drums? Those days you feel less than inspired? Like you need a deep breath of fresh air? I have a remedy for you. It's silly, inspiring and wildly remarkable all at the same time. I know you'll love it.
It's called Pinterest. Have you heard of it?
Neither had I, but's awesome. Especially for you creative types out there.
What is it? Well, I'm not totally sure. I'm just learning, but essentially it's the same thing as ripping out and saving favorite pages from magazines. Only better. Because I don't know about you, but I'm not so good at the actual organizing of those pages once I rip them. They eventually end up--not where I need them when I need them to remember that crucial paint color/cute dress/bright idea I saw. This is one reason Pinerest is great. It let's you "pin" your cool online inspirations so they are always neatly organized. And best of all, you can look at other people's pin boards and see what's inspired them. When you find people with your same artistic tastes, there's some uh-mazing stuff see. I cannot. Stop. Pinning!
Here's an idea of a few things I've pinned so far
Photography Shoot Ideas:

Fantastic rooms I just like to look at: Bright Ideas:
And the list goes on and on. If you want to view all my pin boards, click here.
The only quirky thing about it is that you have to be invited to start. Whatever. I supposed they're just trying to keep their system from getting too overloaded. But just put your email address in, and click on "request an invite." Within a few hours I had a email saying I was good to go. I think you'll be happy you did. I always leave with a smile on my face and inspiration in my soul. And some days we just need that, agree?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Singing in Public: Proof I Love My Dad

Oh geez.
Ok, below is a video of Andrew and me singing for my dad on Father's Day. I must preface this, however by saying I am no singer, people. I love to sing, it comes from my heart and that's about as far as it goes. My husband, on the other hand, is a wonderful singer. He had a full-ride scholarship thru college because of his fantabulous voice. So, dude can make any one sound better when they're singing next him. That said, I really did enjoy doing this. It's always fun singing with my hubby (in the car and around the house), so how is singing with him in front of a few hundred people any different, right? Yea, right. :)
But most of all I enjoyed this because I did it for my dad. And my dad is THE MAN. I love him a ton. He deserves so much, and I know this made him really happy. I NEVER EVER sing in public, so he was genuiniely suprised. My favorite thing about the video is his proud face as he watches us. Every father thinks their kid with the solo sounds amazing and my dad is no different. :)

We're on the video around the 19 minute mark. Just after the church sings "Great is Thy Faithfulness"

Video streaming by Ustream

Sunday, June 12, 2011

On crows feet and getting older

Do you see this? In just this last month or so I started to notice small, deep lines creasing from the corners of my eyes. I believe we call them crows feet. Sigh.
I got my first gray hair at 19, and I'm pretty much a bottle brunette now--and that has never phased me. But when I spotted real life wrinkles on my face, I did a double-take.
I guess I really AM going to start looking old one of these days. Me? Yes, me. It will happen.

Andrew asked on my 33rd birthday (two weeks ago) how I feel about getting older. And I told him the truth. That all in all, I don't mind it a bit. In many ways it makes me really happy. I love to see progress in my life and every year I've gotten better (on the inside at least!).
Even my darned health problems have put a lot of things in perspective and chipped away at an entitlement attitude I've lived with a lot of my life. I didn't see that three years ago.
Every year brings change and directed by God, it is change for good. Even if it has been a rough year. I love that. I want to be a vibrant, confident woman who is unafraid to live from her heart and who loves God and people generously. But it takes time. It takes work. It takes aging. Especially for a natural scardey-cat like me.

So the getting older thing is good...the looking older thing, not so much. But I guess it comes with the territory. I just hope that I'm always becoming more beautiful from the inside. And that the lines on my face are greatly surpassed by the beauty of my spirit. No matter what age I am.