Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympics, Cupcakes, and Dinosaurs

What do the Olympics, cupcakes, and dinosaurs have in common?  Probably not much, but they have all been a part of my life in the past few days.

Let's start with the Olympics.  Have you been watching?  I am pretty much glued to the TV every time I have a free minute.  I generally am not a huge fan of sports, but there's just something about the summer Olympics that always has me riveted.  My favorite event is gymnastics, with swimming and then diving coming in a close second and third.  I am embarrassed to tell you that I actually cried when I watched the women's gymnastics from Sunday night.  When Jordyn Wieber found out she didn't make it to the all-around competition, seeing her tears just broke my heart.  

That being said, I am a huge Gabby Douglas fan, and am rooting for her!  She is adorable, and I love that she said she focuses on scriptures when her nerves start to get the best of her.  I can't wait to watch more of her!

Anyway, I have really enjoyed watching the Olympic games so far!  And I've been racking up Viggle points like crazy!  Viggle is my favorite app right now (it's an app where you can check into TV shows, and gain points toward rewards). And the 50-point trivia questions you can answer during the Olympics, along with the bonus points for checking in, have helped me rack up a few thousand more points in the past few days!  You should check out the app if you don't have it yet!

Okay, let's move on to cupcakes.  Yesterday was my friend Lindsey's bridal shower.  Her wedding is in two weeks, and I am honored to be a bridesmaid!  My mom and I did the decorations for the shower, and I made cupcakes and also cakeballs as favors.  My cupcake-making has been a bit hit-or-miss, so I'm really glad they turned out okay!  I found two awesome recipes for basic chocolate (found here) and vanilla (found here) cupcakes.  I used standard butter-cream frosting.  And the cakeballs were the same as the ones I made for my sister's shower a year ago (found here).  I love baking and decorating, so I had a lot of fun with it all.

Here I am with Lindsey and her sister Lauren.  We are lifelong friends, and I am so excited for Lindsey's special day!


And finally, that brings us to dinosaurs.  *Giant sigh.*  It turns out that ASHA (the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association) requires all SLPs to take certain gen ed classes in order to get our CCC (Certificate of Clinical Competence) once we graduate.  It also turns out that I didn't get a natural science course in my undergrad classes at Malone University.  The easiest way to fulfill this requirement is to take a class on dinosaurs which is one week long.  So I decided to do that. We literally have a midterm on Wednesday and a final on Friday.  And I'll be spending three hours a day in this class every day this week.  I was really dreading it to say the least.  But I have to admit I found my first class today to be really interesting.  Of course, as a firm believer of creationism, I didn't agree with a lot of what was being said.  But other than that stuff, I was pretty into it.  Who knew I was such a science nerd?  I totally felt like I was channeling Ross Geller.

So here's to 12 more hours of dinosaur info!  I think a Jurassic Park viewing is in order after this week!

Friday, July 27, 2012

High Five for Friday


TGIF!  I had a very busy week, and kept losing track of what day it was.  Ha!  So it doesn't even feel like Friday today, but I'm excited anyway!  Here are five highlights from my week:

1.On Sunday night I hung out with some awesome ladies...we took a walk for some ice cream, and then watched The Bachelorette finale.  Sometimes you just need some girl time!

2. I was traveling back and forth to Canton a lot during the first part of the week for Yearly Meeting.  I took back roads most of the way, because there isn't much I love more than a country drive with Jason Aldean blaring from my speakers.  

3. Luke had relatives visiting from Charlotte this week, so we spent a lot of time with the whole family, including Luke's adorable baby cousin, Lilly.  It was great spending so much time with family, and this cute face!

4. Included in that family time was a trip to Hartville on Thursday.  Hartville is just a cute town with lots of fun shopping and dining.  My favorite part is the Hartville marketplace & flea market.  We shopped for hours at the different booths full of jewelry, clothes, accessories, bags, food, books, furniture, etc.  Basically anything you could ever imagine.  So fun!  Luke wasn't able to come because he was at work, but I'm thinking it would be fun to have a date day there on a Saturday.

5. We've been going through a period of drought this summer here in Ohio.  On Thursday we had some amazing storms, and I loved every minute of it.  Along with country drives (see #2), thunder storms are another of my favorite things about summer. 

What things were you blessed by this week?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Something Beautiful Etsy Shop Launch!

I have been a little MIA around here for the past few days because I spent Monday and Tuesday at my alma mater, Malone University, as a delegate for Evangelical Friends Church - Eastern Region's Yearly Meeting.  That was a mouthful, but basically I am a member of the EFC - ER, and I was chosen from my church to go to the yearly meeting and sit through business meetings for two days and vote on things.  I was about the youngest person there by about 30 years, and it was a long two days.  But part of me loved it because I have Quaker blood in my veins (the Evangelical Friends Church is a modern day name for the Quaker Church.  Betcha didn't know I was a Quaker!)  I am in the direct genealogical line of George Fox, the founder of the Quaker religion.  So anyway, I felt like I was sort of honoring my ancestors by being there.

And I am also in charge of decorations and cupcake for my dear friend's wedding shower which is coming up this Sunday, so I've been a busy lady!

I have gotten way off course with this blog post, so let's get back on track.

I am officially launching my Etsy shop!  Right now I have a bunch of headbands for all ages in many different colors.  I am hoping to add more soon!  Please jump on over there and check it out!

Here's what you'll find in my shop:

Adult pink rosette headbands - $5

Adult plum rosette headbands - $5

 Infant white flower headbands - $4

Infant yellow rosette headbands - $5

And adult yellow rosette headbands - $5

I am so excited to finally launch my shop after weeks of preparation.  Take a look around, and be on the lookout for new items soon!

Friday, July 20, 2012

High Five for Friday

This week went by so fast!  Time needs to slow down, because I'm just not sure if I'm ready to start grad school or not!  And it's only a little over a month away!

Anyway, I'm linking up with Lauren again for High Five for Friday!  Here are five highlights from my week:


1. My sister-in-law Diana just got back from a mission trip to Romania!  I am so excited for her, and it sounds like she had an awesome time.  She brought me home this beautiful scarf!  I thought it was so sweet, and I love it!

2. I joined the She Reads Truth Bible study on prayer.  I have honestly been slacking on my devotional time, and I'm excited that this is getting me back in the habit again!

3. Lake time!  Luke and I spent last Friday at Lake Erie, and then Saturday night we went out to dinner at Mark's Landing on Guilford Lake.  It was all so beautiful and peaceful.

4. This man.  It's been so great hanging out with him lately!  He hasn't worked as much at his second job as normal, because the grass is all dead, therefore he has no grass to mow.  It's been nice!  He is such a cat lover.  I totally snagged this picture when he was least expecting it on Saturday night, and it just makes me smile.

5. My Etsy shop is officially opening soon!  I know I did not launch it on the date I had planned, but honestly I got a little scared!  I guess I have put a lot of time into this, and I'm afraid of failing.  But failing is better than not trying at all, so I am planning on an official launch next week!  I am so excited!

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Acts of Service

I'm finally continuing love languages series today with acts of service.  This is a difficult one for me to write about, because acts of service is pretty low on my list.  But I'll give it a shot!

Acts of service are basically any tasks done to help someone else out, whether it be washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, paying the bills...etc.

You can tell if someone's love language is acts of service because they will be the one always trying to help out.  Because you love others through your own love language.

Keep your eyes open for people in your life who have this love language!  Taking time out of your day to unexpectedly help them out will mean the world to them!

...the key word in that last sentence is "unexpectedly."  If your spouse has to ask you to complete a task for them, it certainly loses its value.  However, if you surprise them, you will make their day!

Even though this love language is not high on my list, I still feel loved when Luke unexpectedly does things for me!  For example, last fall I came home from a 12-hour day of classes in Akron.  I was tired and didn't feel like doing anything.  As I walked into the kitchen, I noticed that Luke had done all the dishes!  Doing the dishes is my least favorite chore, and it seriously made my night that he had done them without being asked.

So what is one task you can surprise someone with today?  I would love to hear your ideas! Especially if this is  your main love language.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hey Christian Girl: My Thoughts

I've seen many blog posts about and pins from the website: "Hey Christian Girl."  Have you heard of it yet?  It really is hilarious!  Honestly, I think all Christian girls or women have wanted our men to say these things to us.  It's funny in the same way that Jon Acuff's blog, "Stuff Christians Like" (one of my favorite blogs) is funny. It's just so relateable to those of us who are a part of the Christian culture.  

Here are a couple of examples if you haven't seen the website yet: 

Both found here

I'm sure if you have a Pinterest account, you've seen the "Hey Girl" posts, and this just puts a Christian spin on things.  Basically it's a bunch of ridiculously good-looking guys saying stuff that every Christian girl wants to hear.  

There's no harm in that, right?  I giggled while I clicked through a few pages.  Back in high school, I can remember wishing for a guy that treated me like that and said all those things to me.  

And I'm not going to say that it is wrong to enjoy this page.  However, as Christian women, I think we really need to examine our own hearts and make sure we are not getting idealistic expectations through these websites.  

For the teenage girl or single woman: 
Maybe you're perfectly happy being single, and that's awesome!  But I know I was far from content before I got to know Luke.  A website like this probably would have made me more discontent.  (kind of like how I can't look at baby clothes now without feeling pangs of discontentment).  

Also, I know before I started dating, I started drawing a picture in my mind of what I wanted my future spouse to be like.  I had lots of ideas.  Parts of that picture came from my experiences, parts came from my personality, and lots of other parts probably came from outside sources, like the media, the church, and my friends.  Websites like this may have given me standards that no human person could live up to.  Remember, the people we date aren't perfect, or else they would take the place of God in our lives.

For the woman who is in a serious relationship or married:
Anyone who's been in a relationship for more than a few months knows that serious relationships aren't always chocolate and roses.  Our spouses will fail us, and we will fail them.  Multiple times.  Sometimes in the same day.  It is easy to become disillusioned in our relationships.  Again, we have to remember that God is the only perfect thing in our lives, and we can't expect our spouses to be perfect.  If your marriage is on rocky ground, I would say this website is something to steer clear of!  It could make you feel more discontent with your own marriage, giving you an impossible standard for your husband to live up to.  

Is my main point in this post to say that websites like this are evil, and no Christian should ever visit them?  Definitely not.  I'm just saying that Satan likes to use unlikely places to plant ideas or doubts in our minds.  

Think of the movie Inception.  Cobb said, "What's the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world, and rewrite all the rules...."  

It's so true.  One little thought or idea breeds more and more like it.  Before we know it, Satan has a foothold on our lives.  

I can compare this website to romance movies or novels -- even Christian ones.  It is fun, and definitely made purely for entertainment.  We need to know ourselves, and whether or not it's okay for us to look at this website.  

Read with caution.  Don't take it seriously.  And never compare the men in your lives to those on this website!

What are your thoughts on this website?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Presque Isle

Luke and I took our anniversary day trip to Presque Isle, PA on Friday.  We were't sure what to expect since this was our first trip there, but what we found was a very peaceful place.  We were expecting a little more in the way of shopping or entertainment.  However, we decided that it was a great place to just get away for a day of relaxation.

There are about eleven different beaches on the peninsula.  We found one beach lined with picnic tables where we ate ham sandwiches for lunch.  We sat and faced the lake while we ate.  The sun was blazing, but the breeze was perfect.

After lunch we headed out to explore the peninsula, and found another beach that was much less crowded.  We staked out a spot in the sand and spread out our towels.  I devoured a few chapters of a good book, and Luke had a nice nap.  When the sun became too overwhelming, we took a dip in the lake.

 Later, we opted out of hiking or biking, because it was too hot, and somehow relaxing in the sun had exhausted us.  We decided to check out the nature center, which was full of exhibits and a cute gift shop.

There was also a big look-out tower that we wanted to check out.  Luke insisted we take the stairs, but it was worth the climb.  We had nice views of the lake peeking through the trees and of the fun carnival rides at a little park nearby.  (We almost visited that little park, but we thought $23 per person was a rip-off). 

We decided we had had our fill after that.  I'll admit that Presque Isle wasn't exactly what we were expecting (We were holding it up to Kelley's Island for comparison, and it didn't measure up).  Still, time away with Luke is always worth it, and I think we both felt refreshed afterward.  We stopped at Quaker Steak on the way home, and we were both in great moods after our day out.  I laughed afterwards and told him dinner was the best part of our day!  I guess we could have just driven 30 minutes down the road instead of 2 hours to Erie, PA!  But I think dinner was so enjoyable because we had spent our entire day relaxing and reconnecting.  

I don't know if we'd choose Presque Isle for a day trip again since we like something a little more fast-paced.  But it was a great anniversary trip nonetheless.  Now, on to make many more memories in this next year of marriage!

Friday, July 13, 2012

High Five for Friday

Linking up with Lauren again today:

1. Last Friday I went to Ikea with my mother-in-law and sister-in law.  I didn't buy much besides this cute watering can and a rug for my kitchen, but we had so much fun!  A shopping day was just what we needed to escape the heat!

2. Luke and I had a date day on Sunday, and I had my first Menchie's froyo!  I know, I live under a rock.  It was delicious, and sugar free!  I can't wait to go again.

3.  Back to the living under a rock thing...Demi Lovato has been popping up on Pandora a lot lately, and I loved her music!  I didn't know who she was, so I created a Demi Lovato station.  I was surprised when every other song was Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus.  After some research I found that she's a big Disney Channel star! Ha!  Oh well, I love her music anyway.  I'm listening to her right now, in fact.  It's just so sing-along-able.

4. I love this new journal I bought at Target for about $3.  "She's a dreamer, a thinker, a doer.  She sees possibility everywhere." I love that!  It is inspiring, and I've written in it every day since Sunday.  I'm a lifelong's how the blog was born.  But it's nice to have my own, private, hand-written journal again.

5. Yesterday I celebrated four amazing years of marriage with Luke!  As you are reading this, we are at Presque Isle to spend the day biking, picnicking, hiking, and swimming at the beach.  I'm so excited!  Yesterday he brought home a dozen red roses for me.  Isn't he sweet?

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Four Years

A modern day mix tape for my husband on our anniversary:
(all the links in this post lead to cheesy love songs that I am dedicating to Luke today!)

Twelve years ago, I was just a nerdy sophomore from youth group, and you were the cool junior that all of my friends were dating.  Wouldn't it be funny if we knew then what we know now?

 Eight years ago I fell head over heels for you with just one look. We started dating, and I knew you would be the one I would marry.

At the beginning of our relationship, I didn't know it was possible to feel so in love.  I would wake up thinking about you every morning, and you would be on my mind every night when I fell asleep.  The first time you kissed me, I knew you'd be the last person I'd kiss, like that, for the rest of my life.

We continued to date and our puppy love grew into something more.  We had our first arguments, and some ups and downs, but ultimately we learned to love each other in spite of our imperfections.  And that is what real love is.  I knew you really loved me when you put up with my quirky, absent-minded ways! (Pretty sure that last song was written for me). 

Five-and-a-half years ago on December 23, you asked me to be your wife.  With one word, I sealed our future together forever.

And finally, on July 12, 2008, we tied the knot in front of all our friends and family.  It was the best day of my life!

I can't believe that day was four years ago already!  We have been through so much in four years -- difficult things, exciting things, and amazing things.  We have grown together, and we aren't even the same people we were eight years ago when we went on our first date.  I am so blessed to have you in my life, and I just love you more and more every day.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Year 4: The Memories

{I took an unplanned, 2 week break from my love languages series since it's a busy month with the 4th, and our anniversary.  I plan to continue next Wednesday.}

It's almost our 4-year anniversary, and I almost forgot to do an anniversary post this year, highlighting the fun times Luke and I shared in our fourth year of marriage.  I do this every year for my own memories.  It's always fun to look back on the things we did and the places we went during the year!

July 2011
We spent a weekend at Cedar Point to celebrate our anniversary.
I watched Luke play lots of softball on the nights he didn't have to work late. (summer is his busy season)

August 2011
More softball games
We went on a day shopping trip with JC to Grove City.  We are pretty much the Three Musketeers.
We also went to an Indians Game with my parents to celebrate my dad's birthday

September 2011
During this semester of classes, I was basically in Akron for half the week, and Luke was still working his second job a couple nights a week, so time together was scarce.  So most evenings we'd both get home around 8 and have a late dinner while we watched new episodes of our favorite shows.  Chill time at its finest. 
We went to another Indians game with our friends Alex and Michelle.  It was a cold, rainy night, but it was fireworks night, so that made up for it. 
October 2011
We had some date nights this month, including a lot to Di's volleyball games.  They are so fun to watch!
We also helped make donuts for our church's trunk-or-treat night with Luke's family and my mom.

November 2011
We celebrated my 27th birthday
We spent Thanksgiving back and forth between both sets of family.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, and this year as no different.  We had fun catching up with my family, playing games with his family all afternoon, and then staying up until 2 or 3 watching Friends. We always end up having Black Friday off from work/school, so we always stay up half the night on Thanksgiving night.  Just because we can!
The day after Thanksgiving we bought our Christmas tree and put it up, because this is our tradition. 


December 2011
Spent a fun night driving around, looking at Christmas lights together
As always, we spent Christmas day running around like crazy, visiting relatives.  Between Christmas Even and Christmas Day, we visited 7 different places!  It's always such a full day spent with family, and we love it!...however, we usually need about a week to recover afterwards!
We also went to our annual TSO concert a few days after Christmas with Luke's mom and sister.

January 2012
We had a really fun New Year's Eve and New Year's Day spent with friends and watching football.
Luke made us a new bed!  That's right, he made it all himself!  Isn't it gorgeous?
We found out our renters were moving out of our downstairs apartment at the end of the month, and it was a big faith-stretcher.  We had some big decisions to make!
February 2012
This was the craziest month since we moved into our house!  We decided to move into the downstairs apartment and rent out the upstairs one.  So we spent the entire month renovating it, with tons of help from our parents!
There were Valentines Day festivities in there somewhere, but all I remember is making Luke his favorite meal that night: brinner.  
March 2012
We finished our new place, and moved in!
We celebrated our newly finished apartment with, again, Luke's favorite meal: brinner.
I had major health problems during this time, and one day, Luke took half a day from work to meet me at the emergency room due to my allergies, and not being able to breathe.  I am so blessed to have someone who will drop everything, and come be beside me when I need him.
April 2012
Our new renters moved in upstairs this month -- into our old apartment.  This was a huge answer to prayer!
We spent Easter at church and then with our families, where we ate lots of great food, and played Mexican train all day.
We celebrated my acceptance into grad school!  This month was full of answered prayers.
May 2012
We celebrated Luke's 28th birthday with a small party for family and friends.
We partied all weekend long on Memorial Day weekend!  It was hot and beautiful, and we loved it!  We ended it at yet another Indians game.

June and a little July 2012
We've been spending lots of nights at the softball field, as another season is underway.
I went to my first ever tractor pull with Luke and some friends.  It was...interesting...
We headed down to Columbus for a weekend for Luke's cousin's wedding.  We had a blast at the wedding, and then spent the next day shopping. 
We had a fun 4th of July camping with friends, and dodging the storms!
We've also spent a lot of this HOT month so far in the pool at my parents, staying comfortable.

Until next time...