Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween - Then and Now

We got to dress up at work today and I went as a modern day Snow White.  The idea just came to me a week ago as I was driving home from Atlanta, the only problem was that I didn't have most of what I would need.   I also wouldn't have a lot of time to put into getting it all together once I got home so I told myself if I couldn't find yellow pants on the way home, I'd just do something easier.   I made two detours to Goodwills and found these at the second one.  They're from Old Navy and still had the tags on them!  The rest was easy too, with a trip to Wal Mart and Claire's for the blue shirt and polka dotted headband.  I wore a white scarf with it too, but took it off for most of work so it wouldn't get covered in bbq sauce.

Just ignore the busted up broom and dustpan, they were the closest props.

Not everyone figured out what I was - I had one guess as Minnie Mouse and several clueless people - but I didn't really mind.  Snow White was always my favorite princess and I dressed up as her on a few occasions when I was younger, so it was fun to take a more grown-up approach to it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Puzzles and Legos

I watched the kiddos most of Friday but only had the youngest two for morning.  The baby was sleeping which meant I had some time with just Bram.  In the few months I've been here he has learned a lot and is talking so much more, it was fun to see all of that come together in some uninterrupted time together.

"Help me Aaa-meee."  I hear this about 20 times a day.  I don't mind.

Doing puzzles is serious business.

"K is for Kalala!"

Ever step on one of these in the middle of the night?  It'll wake you up!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Photo Shoots

Jillian called me last week to see if I could take some senior pictures for her since she's graduating in December and of course I agreed.  We met at The Well House last Thursday and she looked at me with this look she has when she wants to do something a little crazy and said "Sooo....I kind of wanted to take some pictures up on the roof by The Well sign."

There's a huge sign on the front of The Well House, and if you crawl through either James' or Samantha's office window you'll be out on the porch roof, right next to the sign.  I've climbed out on the roof a bunch of times over the years so I said, "Sure!  They're your pictures."  So we got on the roof and had a little photo shoot and received lots of strange looks from people walking down the sidewalk.

After that we took pictures by some ETSU signs which are right next to the street.  We received some honks and a loud "Hey baby!" yelled out the window which was just funny because she wearing her scrubs or cap and gown for most of those pictures, not exactly a sexy outfit.   We also took pictures in front of the nursing building, and we were walking around for a while with Jillian in her cap and gown and I was wearing her stethoscope around my neck.  We looked strange I'm sure, but it only seems appropriate for the two of us.

The next time she's in her cap and gown it will be graduation day - I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

This Is Hard

Want to know what me and this cat have in common?  Check out the England Edition to find out.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My DIY Celebration Banner

Here are all the details of how I made this cute pennant banner to celebrate my ministry partners.

Do you remember back in the summer when I showed a picture of all these vintage pillow cases?

Well they were the inspiration for the banner.  My partner development teacher told our class that we should find a way to celebrate along this journey.  I immediately thought of making a pennant banner, with each pennant representing a new partner.  At first I thought I'd use scrapbook paper, but then I realized I could use the cloth from old pillow cases.  I'd been seeing vintage pillow cases everywhere and wanted a reason to buy some.  Now I had a reason!

My first step (besides buying the pillow cases) was to make a template for the pennant.  I used a piece of card stock and made a triangle that was 6' across the top and 8' on the sides.  Then I cut open the pillow cases so that they were large, flat sheets.  I traced the triangles onto the fabric in a row, alternating the direction they were facing   This way when it came time to cut them out, all of the sides would be shared, equaling less cuts.

The cutting was the most frustrating and time consuming part of the project.  I used pinking shears, and I don't know if it's because they were old or because the fabric was old and flimsy, or both, but they were very difficult to cut out.

Before I started writing the names on them I made a few trial runs on a scrap triangle.  I tried different handwritings and placements on the pennant until I found what I liked.  I should also note that I bought a special pen for this.  I needed one that wouldn't bleed, and I was afraid a Sharpie might do that.  This pen is designed for writing on fabrics and I got it at Michael's for $2.99.  It worked great except for one of the fabrics that was really thin and flimsy.

Once I had all the pennants ready to go I attached some clear Command strips onto the wall and tied the twine to them.  Then I clipped them up using mini clothespins that I also got at Michael's, a 50 count bag for $2.99.

I love the finished product!  The names are written small enough that they don't overpower the pennants.  It brightened up that blank wall and is a great visual reminder of all the wonderful people people partnering with me on this journey.  And that's what I wanted, something that was simple enough that it would look like a decoration while still having a purpose behind it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Take on Being 26, Unmarried, and Childless

I don't share articles/stories/videos often, so when I do, it's saying something.  This article was circling on Facebook a few weeks ago and as soon as I read it I thought "This is great!" and shared it.  I also knew immediately that I wanted to post about it here on the blog.

I've read it a few time times since and realized that I don't feel the same way as the author about everything.  If I just posted the article and said, "This is great, you should read it!" people might be afraid that I'm having an identity crisis; which I'm not.

So, I'd love for you to first read the article 26, unmarried, and childless, and then come back here and read my takes on it.

Things I didn't relate to:

No one means anything by it, it’s just time for me to be heading in the same direction as my peers. It makes sense. I get it.

It took me some time to come to this realization, but I'm here now.  Just because all my peers are heading in one direction doesn't mean it's time for me to.  It makes so much sense to me now why my life has been going in a different direction all these years.

So when you...remind me that I’m far behind where one would expect to be at my age, it makes me feel broken. I feel like I’ve done something wrong. I feel like I’m letting you down or making some horrible mistake.

...but when people question my marital status, I think I’m messing up my chances to do anything worthwhile with my life.

Ok, maybe 5% of the time I feel like I've done something wrong, like I've missed the boat.  But 95% of time I don't agree with these statements.  I know I haven't made a mistake.  And I definitely don't think I'm messing up chances to do something worthwhile with my life, because I've been doing worthwhile things in my life.

Things I really related to:

Believe me, I am fully aware that I am unmarried and childless. Heck, I don’t even have a real job at this point in time. I’m aware that I’m getting older. I’m aware that I’m not following the same patterns as my parents or my brothers or many of my peers. I’m aware that my biological clock is ticking. OH MY GOSH I AM SO AWARE.

It was her all-caps last sentence that made me chuckle.  When I continue to be the third wheel, or fifth wheel, or receive yet another bridal or baby shower invite, how can I not be aware?

What if my aim was to love people well, and to fully embrace the gifts I’ve been given? Would that be enough? What if my life goal was to simply run the race, to be called a good and faithful servant at the end of it all? 

For those not in a relationship with Jesus, those who aren't running the race, I obviously can see how these things wouldn't matter.  But my fear is that even within the church, these things aren't enough anymore.  As a people whose purpose in life is to bring glory to God, and whose longing should be for a heavenly home, we're just as consumed with the white picket fence and 2.5 kids as the rest of the culture.

I would like to suggest one thing, though: instead of asking me what’s next, ask me what’s now. Ask me what God is teaching me, ask me what I’m struggling with, or what brings me joy. I am learning, I am growing, and I am happy. I would love to tell you all about it.
I am 26 years old. I don’t have a husband. I don’t have children. I don’t have a career. I don’t have what people expect I should have, but I am abundantly blessed with absurd, exhilarating, and fantastic things I would have never dreamed up on my own.
I resignate with everything she said here, and especially with the first sentence.  I've had many people ask me what I'm going to do when I get back from England and I'm just thinking, "I haven't even left yet, how in the world do you expect me to know what I'm going to do when I get back?  Just let me get there first!"  Why do we as a culture rush so much to what's next?  Why can't we live and enjoy where we are?  I also really liked the last line just because it's exactly how I feel!

So those are just my thoughts on an article that really struck me a few weeks ago and has since had over 1million views; take them for what they're worth.
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