Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Going for a Walk

The other day, it rained.  Once the skies pretty much cleared up, we were a little stir crazy, so we went for a walk.
Don't you love her red and pink color-blocking going on in this outfit? Such a trendy kid!

And before you think our life is all fun and games, here's what happens when little one isn't ready to go inside:


Some days, I'm actually pretty glad this is the extent of our excitement.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Outfit Post 11/28/11

The other day, I was thinking to myself: "Myself, I think I might need some new skinny jeans."  Then, of course, reality hit me, and I thought: "Well, I really can't afford new jeans.  Well, poo."  THEN, I ran across this tutorial for turning old boot-cut jeans into skinnies, and I thought, "Wow, that's awesome!"  About a month later (because being a procrastinator is AWESOME, let me tell you!), I had these jeans:

 (Oh, and that tutorial is by my super cool sister-in-law, by the by.  Her and her friends have an awesome blog; if you get a chance, you should check out the whole site!)

These earrings are kinda hard to see until you're up close!
Outfit Details:
Sweater: Wet Seal, $8, old
Black Tank: Gap Outlet, $7
Jeans: DIY, extremely old!
Scarf: Wal-Mart, $5
Shoes: Payless Shoesource, $11, old
Earrings: Icing by Claire's, $4, old

Monday, November 21, 2011

Outfit Post 11/21/11

I wish I had super witty or insightful things to say about this outfit.  However, I am more than a little sleep deprived at the moment.  I really have this little one to thank for that:

On second thought, I really can't look at that face and actually blame her for anything.  Yes, my little one may insist on waking up at 3am every morning, but that's just an excuse for me to drink more caffeinated beverages.  Now, if you'll excuse me, my coffee pot is calling.

Outfit Details:
Sweater: Sears, clearance, $3
Dress: Target, via Plato's Closet resale, $6
Tights: don't recall
Belt: Forever 21, $2
Shoes: Payless Shoesource, $6 (old)
Earrings: $1 Jewelry Galore
Necklace: DIY, $3 for materials

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Random Theological Inspiration found in the pages of a Twilight book

Tonight, I am going to watch “Breaking Dawn, Part 1” with some friends.  Here’s my confession time: I haven’t gone to see any of the other movies since the first “Twilight” film.  I am not a “Twi-hard” and don’t even really hold any allegiance to either the “Twilight” or “Potter” camps.  I simply enjoyed the first book in the Twilight series, and then got excited when the first movie was released in theaters.  Then, after I saw the movie, I was pretty unimpressed, and decided I wouldn’t waste my or my husband’s hard earned money on the other movies.

I am in no way trying to insult the movies, or the book series.  I actually started re-reading the books last week, and finally understood why I didn’t enjoy the movies: the actor that plays Edward looks nothing like the Edward I pictured while taking in the story.  I’m not saying Robert Pattinson isn’t good looking, but he isn’t the actor I would have chosen to portray the male lead in this story.  If I were choosing, the first, and obvious pick would be this man:

However, my husband has no dreams of going to Hollywood any time soon.  I’m actually okay with that, since I happen to have a jealous streak and hate the idea of fighting off fangirls that are drooling over the man I married.  I guess my second choices for actors would be between Ian Somerhalder and Jared Leto (these names deserve to be Googled, trust me).

SO, with all that being said, and all those tangents traveled, I had a fairly big realization the other day while reading through the third book, “Eclipse.”  I’m always amazed at the seemingly random chances that God uses to teach me a powerful lesson.  There was a section in one of the middle chapters that describes the budding relationship between one of the characters and a girl he had “imprinted” on.  It’s hard to describe what imprinting means in the context of the book without you reading the series, so we’ll just say she’s his soulmate.  Here’s the section that impacted me so strongly:

“The whole pack was there: Sam with his Emily, Paul, Embry, Quil, and Jared with Kim, the girl he’d imprinted upon.

My first impression of Kim was that she was a nice girl, a little shy, and a little plain.  She had a wide face, mostly cheekbones, with eyes too small to balance them out.  Her nose and mouth were both too broad for traditional beauty.  Her flat black hair was thin and wispy in the wind that never seemed to let up atop the cliff.

That was my first impression.  But after a few hours of watching Jared watch Kim, I could no longer find anything plain about the girl.

The way he stared at her!  It was like a blind man seeing the sun for the first time.  Like a collecter finding an undiscovered Da Vinci, like a mother looking in the face of her newborn child.

His wondering eyes made me see new things about her – how her skin looked like russet-colored silk in the firelight, how the shape of her lips was a perfect double curve, how white her teeth were against them, how long her eyelashes were, brushing her cheek when she looked down.  (Meyer, Stephanie.  Eclipse. New York: Little Brown and Company, 2007. P. 242)”

Here’s the realization that forced me to set my book down in the middle of reading, my eyes cloudy with tears: that’s how God looks at us.  It is so easy to look at myself in the mirror, and see the imperfections.    In a purely aesthetic definition of beauty, it is easy for me to pick out my flaws.  But when I consider “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18b-19a),” then all I can focus on is how He sees me.  I can’t even see how undeserving I am when my vision is filled with how loved I am, and how incredible He is.

To take this thought one step further, isn’t that how we should see other people?  Instead of looking at someone and picking out all the ways they’re different from myself, I should be looking at them with the mindset that they are also loved by God.  Instead of creating reasons for division, I should be focused on the most important aspect in all of life: the fact that we are desperately, intensely, perfectly, inconcevably loved by our Creator.  If only the world could see that fact!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Outfit Post 11/15/11

So, I have only one question:  where did October go?  On top of that, where did the first half of November go?  It seems like Northwest Arkansas was just in the throes of record-breaking heat, and all of a sudden, the leaves started changing and the year started ending.

On the plus note, most days it seems like the weather will cooperate with my undeniable desire to wear sweaters and long sleeves.  It is fall, after all! (Ignoring the 70 degree morning we had yesterday, of course!)
And, Christmas commercials have already started, so that means it's ALMOST time for Thanksgiving, and holiday food.  Maybe this year I'll actually try this recipe for Chai Eggnog that I've been needing an excuse to make.

Outfit Details:
Shirt: Aeropostale, clearance, $10
Tank: Wet Seal, $4 (old)
Jeans: Wal-Mart, $12
Shoes: Wal-Mart, $7 (old)
Belt: Forever 21, $2
Necklace: DIY, materials $3

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Outfit Post 11/9/11

I actually wore this outfit a couple weeks ago, and am only getting around to posting the pictures now.  I guess you could say my motivation level has been pretty low lately (and when I say low, I mean nonexistent).

I'm not sure what to do with my hands...

For those of you that didn't catch that reference on the second photo, or are unfamiliar with the cinematic masterpiece that is "Talladega Nights," here's a link to a video to help you out:

Outfit Details:
Shirt: thrifted, $3
Jeans: Wal-Mart, $12
Boots: NYC Style, $15
Earrings, gifted, Premier Designs Jewelry

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Outfit Post 11/3/11

So, I've decided to start doing outfit posts separate from my other ones, since my outfits don't really have anything to do with what I've written.  They're meant to show something else: the joy in getting dressed.  Too often, I'm consumed with thoughts about what I wear, whether it fits properly, whether it's up to date with current trends, what impression it might make on the world.  Fashion is not supposed to cause that much worry in a person!  Getting dressed, pulling together outfits, and finding clothes should be fun!

On that note, here's my outfit for today (actually I wore this last week, but here's the pictures):

What's that on the ground?
What's that in the apartment?

On the subject of having fun with clothes, let me tell you how much I love these jeans!  Are they super bright?  Yes!  Could they veer into emo kid territory?  Maybe, but I'm actually okay with that.  Does wearing them make me happy?  Yes, so what other reason do I need?

Outfit Details:
Sweater: thrifted, $4
Shirt: Eddie Bauer Outlet: $10
Jeans: JC Penney, $15
Shoes: Payless, $6 (old)
Jewelry: various mall stores, all old
Belt: stolen from my mom's closet


I've been finding it hard to carry on conversations with people lately.  Inevitably, the question comes up, "so, what's new with you guys."  Generally, my answer ends up being, "well, you know, our life really isn't that exciting/interesting/action-packed.  Life's pretty boring, actually."  Then comes the awkward silence as Ms. Boring tries to come up with anything at all to conversate about.  I'm telling these people the truth, really.  My life is not exciting right now, at least not compared to everyone else around me.  They are juggling a home life with full time jobs, I'm catching up on the second season of Glee on Netflix.  They are pursuing various endeavors, I'm starting to potty train Lexi (which I'm sure no one really wants to hear the details of).  Unfortunately, by downplaying my life in my interactions with others, I'm really downplaying the potential for amazing friendships and relationships.  I'm shutting down conversations with other people before they even start, based on my own comparisons.  I'm very guilty of making sure that I don't fit, that I am too different from everyone else to ever build a truly meaningful friendship.

In church, and in our Bible study during the week, we're studying Ephesians.  Right now, we're in the end of chapter 2, where Paul paints this wonderful picture for his readers: a picture of unity.  He essentially says, "You were once separated from everyone, both God and other people.  You were alone, desperate for love and life.  Then, through the absolute amazingness of God, you were reconciled to Him, and because of this reconciliation, the wall between you and the rest of humanity was torn down. (read Ephesians 2:11-22)"   So, here's the important question for myself: why do I keep trying to re-build that wall?  I am surrounded by a group of wonderful people, who are loving, and giving, and intensely passionate about God.  I want my relationships with the people of my church to be real, uninhibited, joyful friendships.  There's an art print/quote I've seen floating around the internets that reads, "Don't let comparison steal your joy."  How incredible it could be if that were true in my life, and in yours!

The most amazing part of this whole thought is this: we don't all have to be the same.  A great example was brought up on Sunday, regarding building a wall.  Generally, when I think of building a wall, or a building, this picture comes to mind:

This is a brick wall.  All the stones are uniform in composition, color, and shape.  Every brick fits nicely and smoothly next to the other one.  This is not how the church works, even though it seems like a lot of effort is made to make things appear this way.

This is how the church really looks:

Every stone is different.  Some are big, and some are small.  Some have their shape from being broken, others from being hewn with tools.  The great thing is, they might not fit nicely together, but in some unexplainable way, God makes them fit.  The building He makes is strong and sturdy, built with stones that are immensely different, yet joined together into one holy structure.  (I'm pretty sure I'm one of the little ones in the bottom middle, just sort of stuck there to seal up the spaces!)

If you are someone reading that could never see themselves fitting in a church, whether from past bad experiences, or fear of being judged, I want to apologize to you for everything you've been through.  The personalities of those that follow Christ are supposed to be those of love.  I'm still a work in progress, but my deepest prayer is that every thought, action, and breath be borne out of the love of God.  This love, this life full of Him is never meant to exclude.  You don't have to be on the outside, looking in.  You have an incredible opportunity to be a part of something bigger than can be completely understood, and you have the opportunity to be a part of that surrounded by other people who have been loved by God in spite of their brokenness.  You have an amazing opportunity to have a life filled with Love, unending, unquenchable, irresistible, life-changing, always surprising, never disappointing Love.