Wednesday, December 28


just a few pictures of the goodness this week has held...

last minute shopping crafting to finish up some gifts

christmas morning afternoon [we had to wait for my sister to get out of work to exchange gifts this christmas! longest. day. ever. (: ]

why yes, we do have matching fleece pants (:
and of course there have been plenty of good eats this week...

there's no place like home for the holidays (:

Aisle to Aloha

Wednesday, December 21

oh happy day

today was my last day of work for 2011! hello 12 days of vacation! i have so much to be looking forward to...

-in the next two days i'll be hustlin' and bustlin' [not to mention huffin' and puffin'] and hoping to finish making my christmas presents! if all goes as planned, i'll share after christmas so i don't spoil any surprises! (:

oh deer, you have no idea the [unrelated to christmas] plans i have for you.
let's just say hunting season isn't over in this home.
-john and i leave saturday for a road trip to the motherland, otherwise known as new jersey. we'll be visiting with my family for almost a week! 6 days of christmas festivities, eating holiday food, sleeping in, lounging around, and lots of relaxing, including some reading, playing wii with the fam, and seeing some friends who will also be in town! i'm so excited! i just can't hide it!

ok, yes, technically, this picture is from several years ago.
but really, is there anything better to associate
with things i get excited about besides ice cream?!

-and last, but not least... pinterest! i have given in. i have joined the dark side. i have made my obsession official. my invitation came this afternoon, the perfect way to kick off this little break (: come follow me!

i just love this time of year! (:

Monday, December 19

"then there was a party"

some friends introduced me to this video about the christmas story and i just had to share with you! (: these kids are so cute! enjoy!

Jesus said, “let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” [matthew 19:14]

Wednesday, December 14

a sweet aroma

i peeled back the layer of skin, exposing bright, juicy orange wrinkles. a strong, pungent odor caught my nosehair. fresh citrus, causing my nose to sting and my eyes to tear.

i mentally compared it with the smell, or lack thereof, of clementines i'd had just a couple weeks ago. these orbs were not fresh. when i peeled back their layers, i was not overwhelmed by their scent.

i thought about smells. and about our fragrance. and i asked myself if in this holiday season i smelled strongly of Jesus.

in a time where it's easy to get caught up with thoughts of needing to buy this or that, having to bake and cook treats and side dishes for party after party, to decorate our home to perfection, to display flawlessly wrapped gifts, to smell dull with the hustle and bustle of the season, i pray we will remember why it is we celebrate Christmas.

that we would bask in His fragrance and carry it with us through our days. that He would be our greatest gift this year. that the aroma of Jesus would radiate from us.

i pray that you will think often of Him. of how it is because of Jesus, His descent to earth, His life as a man, His death and His resurrection that we are filled with hope and joy during Christmastime.

there's a song i used to sing as a child that filled my heart as i ate my clementine. i hope the beauty of Jesus fills your life this Christmas, friends.

may the fragrance of Jesus fill this place [may the fragrance of Jesus fill this place]
may the fragrance of Jesus fill this place [lovely fragrance of Jesus]
rising from the sacrifice
of lives laid down in adoration

may the glory of Jesus fill His church [may the glory of Jesus fill His church]
may the glory of Jesus fill His church [radiant glory of Jesus]
shining from our faces
as we gaze in adoration

may the beauty of Jesus fill my life [may the beauty of Jesus fill my life]
may the beauty of Jesus fill my life [perfect beauty of Jesus]
fill my thoughts, my words, my deeds
my all I give in adoration
[-graham kendrick]

but thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. for we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing [2 corinthians 2:14-15]

Tuesday, December 13


right now john is sitting in the dining room studying and i am in the living room with my thoughts. tomorrow he takes his last final of the semester. one step closer. he is working towards earning his bachelors in english and special education. he spent his twenties touring in bands and living in florida with his brothers becoming a massage therapist [luuuuucky me ;) ] after the touring thing ended, he decided he wanted to become a teacher.

to say it's been a long journey feels like an understatement. he has to continue to work while in school, which limits the number of classes he can take in a semester.

this particular semester has been pretty trying for us. he had to take a class on monday and wednesday evenings. tuesdays and thursdays were taken up by homework and other things that he's a part of. in other words, we got pretty used to not really spending any time together, let alone really even seeing each, until the weekend.

as we're almost ready to put this one behind us, i've been thinking a little bit about what i can take away from these last few months. and i think a big part of that is that you can only do what you can do, and it's not worth it to feel guilty about all the rest of things you "should" be doing.

along with my fun car issues of late, john's had his own as well. and for him, it probably means looking for a new car. which will come with a car payment and an increase in his insurance. his car has barely passed for driveable the last few weeks, but the stress of the end of the semester has led to just driving it and waiting til this week to start shopping for a new vehicle.

i am really good at stressing out. when i was younger, my mom would tell me that she was afraid i was going to get an ulcer before i turned 18. i didn't, but it didn't change the fact that my default mode is to worry. and so i worried [and worry] about john's car. and i wanted him to take care of it right away.

but with everything else he had going on, he really just had to focus on finishing the end of the semester strong and deal with the car later. our prayers needed to simply be, "Lord, please let this car keep running until the end of the semester."

that doesn't sit well with my worrywart self, but it seems the class i'm taking this semester is grace. i'm learning that it's ok to give yourself a break when you don't do all the things you want to do or said you were going to do. i'm learning that sometimes you can only do what's right in front of you, first things first, and not worry about all the other things. i'm learning that life really does happen in seasons, and even when they seem forever long, there is going to be a day where i will look back at this season. i'm learning to extend grace to myself.

He promises not to give us more than we can handle, and even though sometimes it can feel like there is too much, those are the times i need to remember to cling even tighter to this promise. that's when i need to give my worry to Him and take hold of trust and find my rest in His loving arms.

and He is faithful. john has gotten where he needs to go. and he's almost done with another semester. [i'm so proud of him.] and he just informed me that his car goes into the shop on thursday, right after his semester finishes. now we can start praying about the finances. (:

i know this post was kind of long so if you're still reading, thanks. (: i feel like i've been getting caught up in a lot of blogland activity with link ups and holiday posts and such and that's not bad, but when i first started this blog [before anyone was reading], i shared more than pictures of my home and crafts. i wrote about the things i was thinking about, the ways God was revealing Himself to me, the revelations that helped me to grow. and i want to do a bit more of that in this next year. [which also means you can look forward to a post on my 2012 goals :-P]

Saturday, December 10

ten on ten [december edition]

[1] morning  [2] tea  [3] leftovers for brunch. delish.  [4] we finally had snow!  [5] my stud. we drove my car into town today so he got to use my sunglasses. (: love.  [6] crafty shopping  [7] picking my stud up from work   [8] saturdays = craft time  [9] starting to cook dinner  [10] shrimp linguine for dinner. it may have been the best idea we had all day.

it was such a beautiful day. western ny finally got snow that stuck around! it just hasn't quite felt like christmas time without it. it was perfect... it snowed through the night and the sun shone bright all day. here are a few more pictures i just had to share:

ten on ten button

Wednesday, December 7

holiday decorating

oh friends, have you tuned in to the frank sinatra holiday station on pandora? it is the perfect music for sitting in the glow of christmas lights, drinking hot chocolate, and wrapping presents!

this week's inspiration workshop is holiday decorating. confession: i've been decorating since the weekend before thanksgiving! i knew i'd be visiting family thanksgiving weekend and i wanted to be able to come back to christmas!

here are a few pictures of what my home looks like for the holidays:

lots of lights and candles, bringing the outdoors inside with the berry wreath and pine cones, and plenty of nostalgia with a tree full of ornaments that i received growing up (:

how are you decorating for christmas?

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Tuesday, December 6

rad in plaid [what i wore]

while i was home last weekend, my sister took a few bunch of pictures of me. which besides sounding completely narcissistic means i get to participate in what i wore wednesday! [woot woot!]

the jeans i was wearing came from a clothing swap i participated in with some lovely ladies.

if you have never been part of a clothing swap before... seriously, have your friends go through their closets and collect clothes they aren't wearing anymore. get together for a girls night and have everyone bring their clothes. shop and swap until you drop and flop! you feel great afterwards because a) you got to clean out your closet of things taking up space you never wear, b) you get new clothes to fill up said space, c) you get to spend time with friends and d) it was all for free!

shirt: target
white tank: hanes. mens section.
[do yourself a favor and pick some of these up! they're comfy and perfect for layering. i wear them underneath so many of my outfits.]
jeans: american eagle
moccasins: target

i am so not a model.and i'm sure i'll look at these pictures in a few years days and be embarrassed about them but just laugh it off instead. (:

i asked heather to help me with poses. or to at least tell me when i was looking ridiculous so i could stop. instead she just kept snapping and got these gems.

or what i'd like to call, the outtakes...

proper diving form i'm sure
hello crazy eyes
sometimes i do the robot. sometimes i pretend i'm a pirate doing the robot?

happy wednesday, friends!

also linking up here:

Monday, December 5


last week some friends and i took a little trip to our local christmas tree shop for a little girls night out/shopping trip. i wasn't really planning to buy anything because i'd been there a couple of weeks ago and had already picked up some decorations for the season, but then i came across a display of chindi rugs and i couldn't tear myself away!

the rugs were marked for $2.99 and as usual, i had a hard time making a decision on which one(s) i wanted. i carried around four of them in the store with us until we went to check out. i decided to get three. the cashier rang me up and then said something to the tune of '$5 and change.' um, excuse me?

the rugs were on sale for... wait for it...

74 cents.

even the cashier couldn't believe it.

and i left with all four rugs.

i love the color they add to my home. and because they are small i can see myself moving them around when i catch the redecorating bug. you can't beat a no-cost makeover!

God is so good, friends. especially in the little things. i hope you are blessed by His good and perfect gifts on this lovely monday.

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