Thursday, April 24, 2014

Par-tay Like Your 74!

As this work week comes to a close, // almost, just Friday left so it counts, okay // today is a very special day! It is my grandma's birthday! She turns 74 today! I am so extremely blessed to have her as my grandma. 

This is us at the reception of our wedding with my wonderful grandparents. I just love them so much!

This is a throwback to a few years back. One of my favorite (and very few) selfies I have taken!

It seems that every day that goes by, I get closer and closer to this wonderful lady. I find myself to be so much like her the more I learn about her. Her stories are always the best. I call her every morning on my way to work and she just listens about what I have to say. I think the whole world should have a grandma like her. She is where I got my craftiness from. And my drive. And the wonderful quality of being a perfectionist! She has defied the odds, and set an example that you can always change your future to be what you want it to be, regardless of what life throws at you. Every conversation I have with her she says something profound and I just think she is such an amazing little lady. I could go on and on about how special she is and what she means to me. She is the definition of selfless.

Yesterday, I asked her if she was excited for her birthday! Most people when they get older say they dread their birthday, and that they don't want to turn another year older. My grandma surprised me like she always does and said "I am very excited! I am so blessed that God gave me another year, and I am very excited for turning 75 in year, thats a big year!". I want to always be excited for birthday's like that. There is nothing wrong with turning another year older because you are another year wiser, and you have gotten another year to live and experience life. How could you not be excited about that?! You can't change it, so why don't you just choose to enjoy it!

My grandma is the woman I want to be. She is a saint. She is such a fantastic example of a Christ-like person. She would give everything she has to make her children, grandchildren, and even a stranger, happy and feeling more loved than they have ever felt before. Although she hasn't had a perfect life, she may have had more rough patches than many, but she has came out on top. She has learned from those lessons and chose to have a "perfect" life. She couldn't be a better example of what my post was last week. // If you didn't read it, it's right here! // She has a story. It has rough patches, it is real, it shows what it's like to be human, but most of all it turns out to be a perfect life. Perfect not meaning that there are no flaws, but that it she ended up defining every odd, and coming out on top when it didn't look like she could. In her every move, her every word, you can see God in her. I strive to be that way. I pray that God works in me and let's every person that sees me , sees God, and that they see what He can do in a person's life. That is what a perfect life is. It isn't something you can show off on Instagram or Facebook, those aren't going to be what people remember you by. They are going to remember how you lived your life. She has enjoyed every second of life, and is so happy, no matter the situation. 

Life is something that has ups and downs, you can't avoid that. The great thing though is you have a choice to be happy. It's your choice to learn from lessons instead of just "make mistakes" and be stuck in your ways. I can honestly say I have never made a mistake in my life, or regretted anything. I learn from lessons, I don't make mistakes. Is that pretty bold to say? // no pun intended…well maybe a little haha //

Life is way too short to waste it unhappy, or feeling all like "oh, woah is me". I want to make the choice to be happy. Not saying I won't be real, or that I won't ever be sad, frustrated or cry. I will choose to learn from lessons, and have a life that is perfect in the way that I made it that way. In a way that I know God made it that way by walking with me every step of the way.

My grandma has told me "grow where you are planted." and I will never forget that. I am a very literal person, so when I hear/read that quote, this is what I think. Me, standing in a field, I am not a weed, but I am a green plant. Nothing really special about it. I realize that I can't really change my roots or where I am at but I do have control of blooming and turning into a beautiful flower in the spot that I am in. The grass isn't always greener on the other side, but you can always make it greener on the side you are already on by giving it exactly what it needs to flourish. For me to flourish, I need God. I need to walk with Him, and always strive to let people see Him in me.

- Grow where you are planted. -

And don't forget these two things:
1. Let them see You in me
2. Be HAPPY.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Everyone Has a Story

As I start writing tonight, my eyes are heavy and I can feel they are ready to rest for the night. I have a need to write tonight, and I know it'll be worth it in the long run. Pleaseeeeee let it be worth it. 

Today I woke up for some reason feeling like it was going to be a great day, not because of what will happen in a "positive" manor but because of a feeling that something moving was going to happen today. I felt this as I was getting dressed this morning, and I was like "Hm, what should I wear…" and I chose one of my favorite shirts. Not because of how it fits, or the color it is, but the meaning it has behind it.

(purchase this tank here from good hYOUman)

As my day went on it became more and more apparent that this day was going to be meaningful. Right before I got to work I got a Facebook message from an old friend from my private school that I went to growing up. To keep this short and sweet, she left such a beautiful message to me expressing that she read all of my blog posts and was so moved by my story and about how she could see I have a genuine love for God. If that isn't one of the best compliments you can get, I do not know what is! She also mentioned that she saw a side to me that she never saw before, a completely vulnerable person. Somebody with struggles just like her.

My day continued and I had a typical busy day at work, I rushed to get out to run errands that I needed to and then make it to my counselor appointment on time. We had a really big day in there for me, where I took a giant leap to be closer to where I want to be. It was definitely an emotional leap. During this appointment, I had a thought, and I knew right away, there is a reason for this thought…I must blog about it today! // hence why it is 12am and I am up typing instead of sleeping, it is a must. // 

Every single person has a story, unique to themselves. Like every finger print in the whole world is different, every story is different. No two stories are identical. It could be a story of struggle, a story of joy, a story of strength; whatever it may be, there is a story to be told. Sadly, most of the time we don't ever get to hear each others' story. We don't get to sit down and hear everything a person has been through, or everything a person has seen. I don't know if it is just me, but I find that so intriguing. I find myself asking in-depth questions to people about their lives and how they got there just because I want to know what makes each person tick. // Okay, back to the point… // with social media the way it is now days, we get a different story from people. We get a story that maybe looks good in pictures, but really isn't as "perfect" looking when you actually jump into the photo. We can say what we want, and create a look that may be completely different from what is real

I have started to practice being as real as I can. Truly being a real person. With faults, negativity, self-doubt, lack of confidence, sin, you name it, I've got it. Just like every human being. I feel like sometimes our world forgets that. That we are all not perfect. We can maybe post photos like we are, or post a status saying how fantastic our day was, but more times than none, it may be just you showing what you want people to perceive but not what is real

A few weeks ago, I had somebody comment on one of my photos on Instagram saying my life is perfect and that she was so jealous of it. That struck me to the core. If there is one thing I do not want, it is for my life to look like it's perfect. It's not. Nobody's is. I want to be a person that oozes confidence that I am perfectly fine being exactly who I am. Flaws and all. I want to embrace the flaws. I want to be so proud of my flaws that I can shout them from roof tops. 

That photo I posted up there of my shirt. What do you think of it at first glance? Does it look perfect? // I wish you could see my idea of how I wanted to take that photo. With my wonderful skills, I totally couldn't capture it…so this is what I ended up with. I am embracing it though! // It might look creative, artsy and meaningful. Let me let you in on a little secret though about this photo because it is not all you think it is. What's the secret?

I am not wearing pants in this photo. Could you as a outsider looking in guess that? Would you ever think that that was the case? Probably not. And my point is made. We need to not place people on pedestals, or think that they are perfect or that they have a perfect life. I am 100% sure, 100% of the time, a person's life is not perfect. Not one person in the world. Not the richest man in the world, not even Kim Kardashian. I might have some nice things shown in the photo, or some fun things that I am doing in them, but that doesn't define my life as perfect, let alone make my story perfect. I am human, just like you.

Next time you see a photo on Facebook or Instagram, please look beyond the photo. Really look into the photo. Remember that that person's life ins't flawless like it looks at first glance. Don't get down on yourself that your life isn't as perfect as hers. Or that you don't look like how she does. Next time you like a photo, remember to not compare yourself to them, and remember that they are human too. 

I ask God to continuing writing His story on my heart.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Projects Out the Wazoo

It is an early Sunday morning and I am sitting here, ready to blog, eating a delicious cinnamon roll…yum. I was trying to think about what I will blog about today, I feel like there is so much going on. I figured I will let you know about all the projects Andrew and I have been up to! Now that the wedding planning is over, we have had more time to spruce up the house! Which I love. I have decided I would love to be an interior decorator. I have a few jobs I am working on with different people, helping out, getting together a portfolio. It totally makes me happy to be able to put stuff together and create a home! Andrew and I are having fun and are so proud of what we've been doing. We are in talks with a few different window treatment companies for either roman shades or wood shutters, //haven't decided yet// and so that is an ongoing project at this point. BUT we did order custom drapery from Drape Style that we will be hanging in the living room and dining room. I just received them on Friday and I CANNOT wait to hang them up! The only problem is I don't know when I will be able to convince Andrew to hang them up in the next few days. He is funny when it comes to projects. He works all week, so do I, but he has a hard time doing projects on the weekend because it feels like work to him. I on the other hand get stress relieved, find it relaxing, and it makes me happy to be using my creativity. It takes a little bit of time to push him to help me out, //I wish I didn't need anybody's help, but sometimes you need a man to help, which is perfectly okay!//. Usually the first hour or so of the project he isn't in the best mood, I just laugh, because what is there to do other than that? I know he gets happy right when we start seeing it come together, so I just hold on for the ride.

See, I feel like I won't be getting the drapes out of him till next weekend because yesterday we did two projects. One was simpler than the other thats for sure. I will definitely be telling you guys what we are up to when we are done. This project is probably the toughest one I came up with so far. We had to call for backup and have Andy (Andrew's dad) come help us. We probably got about halfway done yesterday. It is going to be so hard for me to just leave it there halfway done! I always am for just pushing through and finishing! I do know this project is a lengthy one. Andrew's mom Stella and I were laughing about it yesterday, she said that people have got to watch out for me because I am an "inventor". Perfect way to describe me right there. Here is a little hint of a product we are using for this project. 

It's an old TV cabinet which I absolutely love. It is such a unique piece!

The other project we worked on yesterday was hanging these mirrors from Ikea in our hallway. //At this point I have now ventured off by making myself two pancakes, and these taste delicious too, not as great as the cinnamon roll but hey, not to shabby//. 
Here's a little look at how it looks now! 

Our Sweet Eko wanted to be caught on camera with the new addition!

Okay, so like the title of this blog, I am telling you, projects out the wazoo… here is one we finished this last week. I am so excited about this one, for I have company staying with me in the next 8 weeks because of my cousins wedding. I needed to make them have a nice relaxing space to rest their heads over here at Andrew & Brittany's Bed n' Breakfast. 

Remember that wood board I created for my bridal shower? You can see it here! It was the backdrop for the ice cream parlour station and while making it I wanted to make it for something I can use later, not where I will just waste it after I use it on that one day for 3 short hours. So I made it so that it could be used later as a headboard! There are a few photos of how it was done on the bridal shower blog post, but I didn't mention what we used for attaching it. We screwed screws into some 1x4's to attach all four pieces of wood from behind. When we went to install it as a headboard we purchased a 2x4 and cut that in half. Measured where we needed the 2x4's so that the screws could fit into the bed frame holes and then screwed that in!

We ordered some new bedding from Target, //buy it here: Duvet & ShamsBedskirtSheet Set// went to my favorite antique shop, Thriftiques for the dresser and bedside tables, and lastly went to Ikea for the curtains! //Find the exact ones here: Lace & Grey//. This is what all of those things together create!

The mustache pillow and the vintage tray is also from Thriftiques. //I am pretty sure most of my shopping is done there…guilty!//

We also have hung up my bouquet I got back from being preserved with Floral Keepsakes. It is in my dinging room and I just love all the memories it brings back.

P.S. I really wish this window wasn't blown out, but I don't care to wait till later in the day to show you what we did…so deal with it!

With all of those projects completed so far, //and many more to come//, I am so proud of what we have accomplished thus far. I am so proud of how it's turning out, and all the things we have done ourselves. It brings so much pride to be able to have a vision and to actually create it. We are so blessed to be where we are and to be able to do these projects. I am looking forward to my upcoming projects and I cannot wait to share them with you! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Speak Life

The power of a word is unrecognized most of the time. People don't understand what one word can do to a person. You can build somebody up with one word, one sentence. You can tear somebody down with one word, one sentence. You can change somebody's life for the better or you can complete destroy somebody's life. You have the ability to change a person's day for the better or for the worse. At the end of the day when I am talking to my husband about how my day was, I am somebody that gets totally excited when a person gave me a compliment, but I also get so down on myself when somebody yells at me, or said something negative to me. If we have the power to make someone's day better, or a difference in their life, why don't we take that? Too many times people choose to ruin the day of somebody else. Either they are insecure and want to belittle somebody who looks more secure, or they are unhappy with their day and just take it out on everybody they see. There are so many reason's people tear others down, but let's think about if we built somebody up. What if we had the ability to only speak hope, to speak love and to speak life?

I challenge you next time you are at the grocery store, to stop for a second and pick up a magazine that appeals to you. Flip through it, notice how many negative things are written in there. How many negative things are publicly shared about a person. Then think about the possibility of it being true. I think it's fair to say 90% of those magazine articles are untrue. What if the editor of those magazines only spoke life? What if they only spoke the positive things about all those people, the truthful things about those people. Where would you think we would be? What would life be like? Nobody bashing the Kardashians. Nobody calling Miley Cyrus crazy. I think I would be just as much or more interested in a magazine speaking the positives of people, or the truth about people. It doesn't mean we can't be interested in the magazines, //I still read them// but I always say to take everything from those magazine's with a grain of salt. You never really know what is true or not. Those magazines are there for people to flip through and judge the people they see in there. Isn't that just terrible? It teaches us to judge the people we are associated with on a daily basis just like that. As if we were flipping through a magazine and needed to evaluate every little thing somebody does. What if we didn't judge people for actions, or words they said? You really don't know a person until you walk in their shoes. I mean until you really walk in their shoes. If you saw every second of their life through their eyes, and felt every single thing they have felt, I would think it would be safe to say you could judge what they do. Life is full of judgmental people. The world is full of people thinking they can tell you how to live, or who you are, or what you should be. Why not speak life into somebody. Why not speak hope? Why not speak love? 

After flipping through that one magazine, I challenge you to pick up another one and question every article, question every word. Imagine defending these people. What would be your main argument?  That the editor or the writers of these articles don't actually know these people so how could they really judge them for being the way they are? He/she has not walked in that person's shoes. Don't judge them on what they do, or tear them down by your words. Take every single moment with a grain of salt. Practice rebutting every article with a positive comment about that person. I encourage you this week to speak life to somebody. Give them hope. Be the person that everybody would want as a friend. Somebody that will support them and love them for who they are. Don't scream or yell at somebody and tell them negative, belittling things. Build them up. Tell them what a great job they are doing. Compliment them. Be their rock for them to stand on when they are sinking through the sand. Although a negative comment can ruin somebody's life, a positive one can completely change it for the better. You can be responsible for the turning point in their life. Most of all, you can show others how to be Christlike. I guarantee you can change the world. 

Speak hope. Speak love. Speak life.